SkyDrive now supports optical character recognition courtesy Bing

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Microsoft has been doing a lot of improvements to SkyDrive over the past couple of months, so it came as no surprise to see the company going at it again. On August 28, Microsoft announced via its blog that Bing-powered OCR (optical character recognition) is coming to SkyDrive. This feature has been a part of Windows Phone for quite some time, so it is cool to see it brought over to SkyDrive.

“We hope that you enjoy this new feature of SkyDrive, and that it makes browsing your photos on SkyDrive.com a smarter and more efficient experience. We’re looking forward to continuing to build on this capability in future releases. We hope you’ll give it a try now, let us know what you think, and what you’d like to see us add next.” Says blog writer, Mona Akmal

What is OCR, you asked? Basically, it just extract text from an image and make it available to you. It’s not always perfect from our experience, which means you must never rely on it when extracting text from an image. Furthermore, we’ve found out that images with a big enough text works best, so keep that in mind.

At the moment, OCR only works if you upload images to SkyDrive from your smartphone. Note that you’ll have to set images to auto-upload to SkyDrive, if not, the service will not activate OCR to scan your images for text. It’s a strange requirement, one that doesn’t bode well for folks who are not interested in auto-uploading every image.

I find it odd this feature is only for mobile currently. I wonder when (if) Microsoft will bring it to desktops.

[via Microsoft Blog]

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