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SkyDrive: $50K Collaboration Challenge for Students at 10 Universities Across the U.S. and 7 Power Tips

SkyDrive $50k Collaboration Challenge for students and 7 Power tipsIn a blog post on Inside Windows Live, Anand Babu revealed that the company is sponsoring a new $50K Collaboration Challenge for students at 10 universities across the U.S. who are participating in business plan competitions.

Babu also offers seven power tips and FAQs to help get the most out of SkyDrive and Office for full-powered collaboration in an effort to convince students that SkyDrive can help students work together more efficiently.

He notes that “With SkyDrive you can store all your files in one place, so everyone can access the latest version. You can also use free Office Web Apps for basic editing from any browser. And, that SkyDrive and Office Web Apps integrate with the Office apps installed on your PC or Mac so you can work together on documents in the cloud right from your desktop apps. With the right setup, you can work together on a Word doc or PowerPoint presentation with your teammates at the same time.”

In November last year, Mike Torres and Omar Shahine, in a blog post posted some statistics:

  • Today, less than 10% of college students consider using SkyDrive to access or share docs
  • Overwhelmingly, when students work on group projects, they start or finish in Microsoft Office on their PC or Mac
  • almost 75% of students use more than one tool to share and collaborate including email, file clouds like Dropbox, and app clouds like Google Docs
  • over 70% of Dropbox users also use Google Docs

    SkyDrive Stats of College Students

He offers tips on how to pin SkyDrive to your taskbar (hint: useless if you use Chrome or Firefox, very popular among college students):

  1. “If you have a PC, you can pin SkyDrive to your Windows 7 taskbar using Internet Explorer 9 for quick access to files and sharing options. And, if you have a Mac, you have a few different options. Apps like Fluid or Automator bring SkyDrive to your Dock along with a nice SkyDrive icon (download one here). However, using these can interfere with the plugin that SkyDrive needs to open Office apps on your Mac. Here is a simpler approach:
    • Use Safari or Firefox to sign in to SkyDrive.com. (Select “Keep me signed in”)
    • Drag the SkyDrive icon in your browser address bar down to the right side of your Dock.
  2. He suggest to create a shared space for your team on SkyDrive. By either creating a SkyDrive group or you can share a SkyDrive folder with team members. “With the latest sharing updates, sharing a folder is a better option for many projects, particularly ones that are short-lived. Now you can go from creation, to collaboration, to publishing–keeping your files in one place without extra versions,” he said.
  3. Capture meeting notes, brainstorming notes, and to-do’s more efficiently than email: SkyDrive works with OneNote so you can organize notes and brainstorm in a virtual notebook that’s shared with your entire team. Instead of sifting through old email threads, everyone can get up to speed on the project history in one place. To start, create a new notebook using OneNote Web App in your shared folder. Then, everyone on your team can easily access it from that folder.

    OneNote Web App works great across Mac and PC, you can also access your notes on a Windows Phone, iPhone, or iPad.

  4. Access SkyDrive docs right from Word, Excel or PowerPoint–online or offline: With Windows 7 and Office 2010, if you’ve opened these documents from SkyDrive at least once, you can then pin them to your taskbar just by right-clicking Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Then you can edit and automatically save changes back to the cloud. Also, within Word, Excel or Word 2010, you can use the File/Recent menu for even more pinning options. You can pin additional files, as well as the entire shared folder. If you have a Mac, you can access any SkyDrive document that you’ve opened recently from the File/Open Recent menu of the Office app that you’re using.

    And if you’re offline, you may still be able to access your SkyDrive docs. On your PC, run Microsoft Office 2010 Upload Center from the start menu or from the tray. You can view recently uploaded files that have been cached for offline use. On the Mac, access Upload Center through the Finder.

  5. p>Use Word co-authoring to ensure your team’s plan flows nicely
  6. e suggests to install Silverlight and use IE or Safari for Mac, to upload up to 200 files at the same time. If you use Firefox or Chrome, you can drag and drop multiple files from your desktop to the folder of your choice.
  7. and notes that they are working to make sure SkyDrive and Office Web Apps are built using HTML5 and modern web standards to work across browsers. However, if you can’t view Office Apps in your browser, then you need check if a plugin named “SharePoint…” or “Microsoft Office 2010…” is installed and enabled. If you have a recent version of Office, the plugin should already be installed. If you don’t see the plugin, install a free trial of Office 2010 or Office 2011. This will automatically add the plugin to your browser. You may also need to install the Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant on Windows.

    If you use OS X Lion or Snow Leopard, setup Safari to run in 32-bit mode.

Watch the video below how SkyDrive can help?

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