Microsoft SkyDrive Launches Recycle Bin And Google Docs Like Excel Based Survey Tools [Review]

Microsoft is taking on Google docs, Box and DropBox head on making SkyDrive the most versatile personal cloud storage service available—spanning file, app, and device clouds. Today, the company is launching a new recycle bin feature on SkyDrive.com and a feature (Excel surveys). The Excel survey feature lets you easily create online surveys and analyze results using the free Excel Web App or Excel on your desktop. Recycle bin

SkyDrive already keeps previous versions of your Office documents automatically. But students, in particular, have asked for a way to recover any file—even those deleted by accident, by someone else, during a group project. So, Microsoft has added a recycle bin to SkyDrive. This probably has made deleting files better. Prior to this release, when you deleted anything in SkyDrive you had to acknowledge and dismiss a warning dialog. This extra step got in the way of making delete as fast as it should be. Now, when you delete an item, it simply tells you that the file is deleted and allow you to “undo” your action:

Dialog box shows image file name and "undo" button.

We think this will make deleting even faster and easier. However, if you have deleted something already, from any SkyDrive app, Microsoft is now giving you a recycle bin that will work very similarly to what you’re used to on your PC. You can get to the recycle bin from a link in the bottom left side of SkyDrive.

Menu that shows space available, recycle bin, manage storage, and link to get SkyDrive apps.

From there you can browse your recycle bin in thumbnail or details view.

Thumbnail view of recycle bin that shows sample thumbnail images.

It’s easy to select items to restore back to their original location, as well as see when the item was deleted. And file and folder selection works just like it does in the rest of SkyDrive.

List view of the recycle bin that shows two images are selected.

Items in the recycle bin do not count against your SkyDrive storage limit. Microsoft will save all items you delete in the recycle bin for at least 3 days. If the content in your recycle bin gets large enough to exceed 10% of your storage limit (which will be pretty rare), we’ll start to delete the oldest content (after it’s been there 3 days), and will permanently remove items from the recycle bin after they have been there for 30 days (and not restored).

Right now, the recycle bin feature is available from SkyDrive.com, and over time Microsoft expect the recycle bin experience to make its way to other SkyDrive experiences too.


Excel surveys

This would surely be pissing off Google Docs. Like the recycle bin, this has been a top request from students in particular, as they’re great for getting suggestions for a group project or party, collecting feedback or research results, running a competition, and much more. And unlike competing services, you can easily use the power of Excel Web App, Excel for Windows, or Excel for Mac to sort, analyze, or chart the results of your survey.

When these are released, all you will have to do is select “Excel survey” from the Create menu:

Create dropdown menu that shows "Excel survey" as one of the options.

Then you’ll proceed through a set of steps to create the survey and each question has several options for different types of response that you want:

Dialog box shows how to enter a title for your Excel survey.

When you’re done, it takes just one click to share this survey with others and start collecting responses. Microsoft putting this through some final tweaks, and you should expect to see Excel surveys show up in your SkyDrive soon.

Amazing new features Let us know what you think.

Samir Saleem

An innovative and dynamic marketing expert having worked for both local and multinational organisations,having expertise in leading diverse assignments on devising digital/social media marketing strategies, promotions, public relations and business development. As an experienced social media strategist and business analyst, he manages several brands via his 2nd Startup Hybrid Signals (www.hybridsignals.com) Samir is an award winning technology and social media blogger and can be reached at samzbest@gmail.com

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