Microsoft SkyDrive gets fresh coat of paint

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SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service, has gotten a "more modern" make-over.

The new-look SkyDrive
(Credit: ZDNet)

Microsoft officials took the wraps off the latest update to SkyDrive on 14 August, the day before Microsoft is set to start rolling out the official Windows 8 RTM bits to developers, IT pros and volume licensees. The changes to SkyDrive.com were detailed in a post on the new "Inside Skydrive" blog.

In addition to a new user interface for SkyDrive.com, Microsoft also has made bug fixes to Windows and Mac OS X Skydrive client apps, and is introducing a new SkyDrive app for Android phones that will be coming in "just a few weeks". The new SkyDrive.com will roll out over the next 24 hours, officials said.

If "Metro" wasn't now a banned word, the new SkyDrive look and feel could be described as Metro-fied. Because "discussions" between Microsoft and an unnamed European partner have led to the discontinuation of the use of the Metro name, some teams at Microsoft seem to be using "modern" (lowercase "m") as a substitute for Metro. However, rather confusingly, Microsoft officials have been telling some partners, outside of the company, to use "Windows 8" as a substitute for Metro.

Back to what's new, based on today's blog post: the updated SkyDrive includes instant search for files and Office document content, a new contextual toolbar, multi-select drag and drop capabilities and other tweaks. The Softies also have made some enhancements to the SkyDrive developer platform, according to today's post.

LiveSide.net had posted some leaked screenshots in late July of the Metro-fied SkyDrive.

In April 2012, Microsoft added paid storage options to SkyDrive. It also made available for download on 23 April a preview version of SkyDrive for Windows, a local version of its SkyDrive client for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Earlier this month, Microsoft began replacing its Live Mesh PC-sync technology with SkyDrive on the PCs of those who installed the latest bundle of consumer services, known as Windows Essentials 2012. In today's post, SkyDrive officials noted that they had heard the feedback from Live Mesh users, who said that they needed the ability to choose what to sync and said they were working on that capability for a future release.

In related news, Microsoft officials said that Outlook.com, its successor to Hotmail.com, now has 10 million registered users signed up. Microsoft made the Outlook.com preview available on 31 July.

Via ZDNet US



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