Cloud storage wars- Microsoft revamps SkyDrive


Microsoft has revamped its SkyDrive online storage system with new features as the firm aims to rival the likes of Dropbox, Apple, Amazon and Google in the rapidly growing cloud storage market. The firm is also set to launch an Android SkyDrive app in the near future. The move forms part of Microsoft’s sweeping interface changes which are occurring in preparation for the up-coming release of Windows 8.


A new user to SkyDrive gets 7GB of free storage, while you can buy an extra 20GB for £6 per year, 50GB for £16 per year, and 100GB for £32 per year.

"With the update to that's rolling out over the next 24 hours, we've taken the same DNA from the SkyDrive Windows 8 app and brought that to the web," wrote SkyDrive program managers Omar Shahine and Mike Torres.

"We've updated nearly 100 per cent of the SkyDrive UI to provide a fast and fluid web experience on all browsers and devices."

The new look follows Window’s new tile-based UI, featured on both Windows Phone and Windows 8.

Microsoft has made numerous tweaks to the service which include new features like instant search, a contextual toolbar and multiple select and drag and dropping options.

Microsoft says that it has even improved the integration of Skydrive with Windows and OSX. Syncing between the cloud backend and the desktop applications has been refined and photo syncing speeds in particular have been improved.

SkyDrive now looks for changes and analyses files enabling the synchronization to happen a bit faster.

Microsoft notes that this may depend on usage patterns, so all users may not see any major improvement.

The new desktop apps are expected to be available by next week.

Microsoft also announced that the SkyDrive app for Android will launch in the next few weeks and will have a comparable feature set than that of the Skydrive apps available on iOS and Windows Phone.

Users will be able to browse, upload and share files, open SkyDrive files from other apps, and upload and save files from other apps to SkyDrive.

Microsoft's redesigns come in the face of a similar overhaul which occurred to its Hotmail web email client earlier this month.

Now going by the name, the web-based email service comes packed with UI touches akin to the SkyDrive and Windows 8 interfaces.

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