Windows 8.1 makes cloud storage viable SkyDrive "smart files" search from desktop

If you've been rather hesitant to use the likes of cloud storage – that is, using something like SkyDrive to hold your files online – the folks at Microsoft may have a solution that'll turn your head. While working with cloud storage often means you'll have to either have a copy of each of your files on your local computer OR that you'll be unable to work with a single search source, SkyDrive "smart files" attempts to solve all that nonsense. Here you'll be able to have a single search bar on your desktop that'll allow you to search and see both local files and all of your files in the cloud all at once.

The addition of smart files searchability in SkyDrive comes in the update from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 later this month. Users in Windows 8.1 will be able to use Bing Smart Search to find all sorts of files, including desktop searches of photos from your Camera Roll that have had text extracted from them. This feature also works with online-only photos, and will be rolled out over the next few weeks for all Windows 8.1 users.

This text extraction tool will help users keep track of their important files through photos in a large way. Similar to the growing popularity of taking photos of documents in apps like Evernote, Microsoft seems to have decided such greatness is meant for a wide breadth of users. This update is, again, centered around SkyDrive and may work in a wider variety of SkyDrive-compatible apps in the future.

Windows 8.1 is set to be released this month for users of Windows 8 and those users that've hesitated on Windows 8 and are upgrading from earlier versions of the OS. Windows 8.1 is able to be loaded without the aid of Windows 8, this allowing PC users to jump right in on the party with minimal effort. Have a peek at the Windows 8.1 timeline below for other recent features as well.