This article continues our series exploring Windows 8 and SkyDrive. Read the previous articles here.

SkyDrive is the Microsoft equivalent of iCloud or Google; is the revamped version of Hotmail: it is the online version of Outlook on your desktop comprising Mail, Contacts (People) and Calendars.

SkyDrive, including, is an integral part of Windows 8 — you will need a Hotmail or account to register your copy of Windows 8.

Once you have Windows 8 installed, and configured the way you want, you will want to consolidate all your data to SkyDrive to get the best out of your new toy.

You don’t need Windows 8 to benefit from SkyDrive: you can also consolidate your data on SkyDrive to get much more out of Outlook 2010 and your phone, but Windows 7 will not get better for it without the SkyDrive desktop app!

The step-by-step instructions in the forthcoming articles are a little dry and are light on pretty pictures: time has been spent researching and testing these methods, rather than taking screenshots. As a result there are a few gotchas that may not appear on other help sites, together with useful links. In addition, the method in one article describing how to transfer iCloud Contacts to SkyDrive is considerably cleaner and simpler than other methods we have found on the web.

These articles will cover:

All methods are accurate at the time of writing for the configuration tested: Office 2010 on Windows 7; Chrome  v27; iPad 1; Nokia Lumia 710.