Microsoft rolls out OCR in SkyDrive, touts success of smart files
PC users understand smart files, and are already tailoring the feature to their needs. So says Mona Akmal, the principle group program manager of SkyDrive. As reported previously, the SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 stores files in the cloud and downloads them only when necessary.
Based on observations made with Windows 8.1 preview, "the majority of people using smart files take up 80 percent less disk space than they would without smart files," wrote Akmal in a new blog. A second group explicitly chose to have their files available offline, which shows that users understand smart files, according to her.
Akmal also announced that a new OCR feature for searching through SkyDrive files would be rolled out in the coming weeks. The feature "allows you to search from the desktop for the content of Camera Roll photos that have had text extracted from them." The feature will also come to Windows 8.1′s Smart Search.
For example, users who have taken a snapshot of a restaurant menu, and want to check it at a later date can simply type in the name of the restaurant (Assuming its on the menu), in order to search for it.
"People are starting to take photos not only to capture special moments, but also to keep track of everyday information, so we are really excited about this scenario and proud to unveil this valuable OCR search feature," says Akmal. For now, you can read more about SkyDrive on the Inside SkyDrive blog here.
The Fierce Take: As we've noted previously, the deeper than ever integration of SkyDrive into Windows may not go down well with security-centric organizations or those bound by strict compliance rules. As such, affected organizations would do well to preemptively tweak their usage policies.