Converting from Office Live Workspaces to Windows Live SkyDrive—What Happens?

Office Live Workspace is on its way out, and Windows Live SkyDrive is on its way in.  Workspace has been in beta all this time, and the new Office Live integrated with Windows Live SkyDrive is the first final release.  When it’s your turn to upgrade, you’ll see a notice when you log in to your workspace.  The upgrade doesn’t take long, but it introduces many changes  So what really happens when you upgrade?

  1. A new URL.  Instead of logging in at, you now log in directly at  Or, you can log in to any of the Live services, and click the Office tab to come to your new Office files.
  2. Dramatic UI changes.  Workspace needed some color changes, but I preferred its simple folder-based layout.  The new layout isn’t bad, but will take a little getting used to.
  3. Notes become Word documents.  There is no “note” document type, so they’re all converted to Word documents.  If you want the notes in OneNote, you’ll need to do that yourself after the conversion.
  4. Calendars become Excel files.  A new feature showed up in the last few weeks to export the calendar to Excel, and this is why.
  5. Your documents are not available on Workspace any more, but may still have access to other shared resources until they are upgraded by the owner.  Eventually, Workspace will go away.
  6. All of your sharing preferences transfer, but the people with whom you share documents will need Live accounts.  Invitations are not automatically sent.
  7. I’m unable to create a new OneNote document in converted folders, but I can create OneNote docs in new folders I create.  No idea why, but I’m asking.

After the upgrade, you can no longer use the Office Live Workspace plug-in in Word or Excel, which allows you to open and save documents from within Office without needing to log in to the website first.

Although the in-browser editing works in Firefox, the Open in Word does not–you can open a file directly in Word when using IE 8.  Once you’ve opened the document from Live, you can use the recent files list to reopen the document directly, which saves a little time not having to log in to the website.

Once the upgrade is done, all your documents are stored on SkyDrive, which allows for 25GB of storage, and you can edit your documents in a local copy of Office or the new Office 2010 Web Edition.