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Microsoft revamps SkyDrive cloud storage service and apps

by Mark Tyson on 15 August 2012, 12:08

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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The SkyDrive cloud storage service from Microsoft has had a major refresh, as announced yesterday on the Windows Steam Blog. You can see the refresh for yourself in the pictures/video below or if you have a Skydrive account just pop along to the Skydrive web page to check out the new look and feel. The update isn’t just in the web interface; “refined SkyDrive apps for PCs and Macs, a new SkyDrive app for Android devices, and improved developer offerings” are also being served up.

As a refresher, Microsoft’s Skydrive is a cloud storage service; Microsoft’s version of iCloud, Google Drive or DropBox etc. The nearest competitor is Google’s product because of the built-in office productivity tools. Skydrive comes with 7GB of free storage with paid upgrade subscription options.

If you like the design of Outlook.com and think that works well for you, including its Modern UI, then you will be pleased with the SkyDrive online redesign. The new look helps unify the new Windows 8 platform appearance and operability across Windows devices. Also it serves as another Microsoft app for other platforms that advertises/showcases the intuitiveness of the “Modern UI” compared to the device OS hosting the app.

Here’s a bulleted list of the upgrades and improvements

  • SkyDrive.com - New, modern design for desktop and tablet browsers with instant search, contextual toolbar, thumbnail multi-select, drag-and-drop organization, and HTML5 sorting
  • SkyDrive for Windows desktop & OS X - Faster uploads for people around the world and tons of bug and performance improvements under the hood
  • SkyDrive for Android - A new app that lets you access, upload and share from Android phones
  • SkyDrive for developers - Apps built using our SkyDrive API can now store or access any type of file in a person’s SkyDrive, plus there's a new, easy-to-use file picker API for websites (similar to our file picker for Windows 8 apps)

Photo updating and file syncing improvements

Alongside the updates you can see at the user end, Microsoft has been working on the back end capability and making the SkyDrive service “…ready for a billion users - in time for the upcoming releases of Windows 8, the new Outlook.com, and the new Office”.

SkyDrive for Android

The SkyDrive for Android app isn’t being released right now but will be made available in a few weeks, you can see a screenshot of SkyDrive for Android above. It looks and works similarly to the Windows Phone and iOS app versions facilitating SkyDrive browsing, uploading and sharing of files and links to files.

HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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It's actually a pretty useful way of sharing pics with my family members who all use hotmail accounts. Will take a while to fill up 25Gb.
Hmm, nice interface. Actually like the look of that more than Dropbox and Drive interfaces.
Oh no, I'm starting to like Metro! :o
It's actually a pretty useful way of sharing pics with my family members who all use hotmail accounts. Will take a while to fill up 25Gb.
You're on the paid service then? Because the article says you “only” get 7GB. That said, I've not bothered to try sharing out my Dropbox, so I'm thinking it might be worth signing up for Skydrive to use solely as a share space - basically following your lead.

But I'd really like to see a Linux client too - after all if Dropbox can do it… ;)
No if you signed in shortly after the service changed earlier in the year you got the full 25Gb as it used to be. I was a bit fortunate with my google drive as well because I was paying a few dollars a year for 20Gb extra on picasa for photos. When gdrive came out with the new monthly pricing my 20Gb was added to that also and as long as I don't upgrade storage I keep paying only a few dollars a year. Got 50Gb dropbox with the S3 as well, dunno what to do with all of it.
yeah people with old skydrive accounts got free 25GB, managed to get it aswell :D. Dropbox is a godsend, sharing is what its all about as an example at uni I have a shared folder for all the group work where we will upload parts that we decided to do, very easy to edit and improve on work and easy to store!.

Skydrive will be better eventually and its starting to get used by myself however the main thing for me is that I will never be storing that much as upload speeds are so slow… 3mb/s is so slow to do anything substantial other than work.
I only have 7 gb and I've had skydrive for about a year, now.