Microsoft, today, has put up a blog postdescribing some enhancements to SkyDrive that are coming as part of Windows 8.1. I've been down many Cloud storage paths over the last couple years with Box, Google Drive, and Dropbox, to name a few, but none have been as easy to use as SkyDrive. Reading through Microsoft's blog post today, has me a bit excited about a couple enhancements in particular.

First, SkyDrive introduces "placeholder files." These remind of Windows "shortcuts" where Windows creates a file that points to the original file, application or folder. SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 will work similarly, except SkyDrive will only download a file referenced by the placeholder (shortcut) when you access it. This ensures that you're not soaking up valuable space on a mobile device, leaving the actual files in the Cloud until you need them.

But, for those instances where there are files that you want direct access to constantly, Microsoft is also announcing Offline Access to SkyDrive in Windows 8.1. You can choose to mark folders and files that you want stored both on your device and in SkyDrive. The files and folders you choose will synchronize so that the most current revisions are always available across all of your SkyDrive-connected devices.

SkyDrive will be an integral part of the Windows 8.1 storage system, so having multiple options available will ensure that files are always accessible and completely under your control.