The recently released Windows 8.1 Preview provided users with an early opportunity to test drive the new features and enhancements Microsoft has built into its SkyDrive cloud storage service.

Now, detailing these some of these new features, the software titan has announced that no less than 3 TB of data is uploaded by Windows 8.1 users per day since the preview version was released. The cloud service is fast becoming the centerpiece of a modern Windows experience.

Redmond also went over everything it is putting into Windows 8.1 for SkyDrive — including the use of placeholder files and smart thumbnails for documents and photos. This lets users interact with the files on their SkyDrive account, without the hassle of having them take a lot of hard drive space locally.

The screenshot above shows a folder that is 5.6 GB in size, but only uses 185 MB on the local hard drive space with Windows 8.1 installed.

Microsoft talked about this and more in a new blog post saying:

“Early data in the weeks since Windows 8.1 Preview was released suggests that this architecture is delivering on the goals we set out with and SkyDrive files are taking up less than 5% of the local disk space that they would have taken in the old system.”

The company also talked about a bunch of different new features that allow Windows 8.1 users the ability to mark which SkyDrive files they want to access on their local hard drive, when they want to view and use them offline.

Other new options include the Windows file picker being built directly into SkyDrive. This means every Windows 8 app can now save files directly to SkyDrive. Also any and all SkyDrive files now appear when a user searches for files on their Windows 8.1 PC.

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  1. I want nothing to do with skydrive. I’ll keep my files locally, thanks. I realize many people like that option, and I have no problem with that – as long as I can turn it off.

  2. I wonder if they could put the backup copy of the OS into skydrive so that it could release a whole chunk of space in the local drive. Those files occupy a lot of space and not being used daily.

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