SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 will OCR search for text within photos

Microsoft has already announced that SkyDrive will get optical character recognition, but the company has just now confirmed the feature will roll out over the coming weeks and arrive for Windows 8.1′s Smart Search.

Bing powers the OCR feature in SkyDrive, which allows users to search for text within images, and it is now rolling out to SkyDrive users worldwide, though Microsoft has revealed - just weeks ahead of Windows 8.1's public launch - that Windows 8.1 users will also be able to access the feature through built-in Bing search.

So, if you're a Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone user, then any photo uploaded to SkyDrive can be accessed and searched by Windows 8.1. The feature will process text within photos in order to find and display a particular image. It's a neat way to both photo search and convert photos into text.

Microsoft has also detailed smart files for Windows 8.1, which allows users to have their files always with them while being unconstrained by storage capacity. SkyDrive users can select which files they'd like to store offline on a PC, while smart files can store information and thumbnails about files for later use.

Microsoft said SkyDrive takes up 80 percent less space when using smart files in Windows 8.1.