With Windows 8 almost ready for its release, Microsoft is also preparing SkyDrive, the cloud storage service, to play a big role in the Windows ecosystem. Today the software giant is launching a preview of SkyDrive for Windows desktop if you are running Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista, and even a preview for Mac OS X Lion.
SkyDrive is now easier to use. When using the new apps, all the files will sync automatically to the cloud, which means that changes you make in documents from your mobile phone will automatically appear in your other devices configured for the service.
The company is announcing several new improvements and changes. Among new changes, Microsoft is announcing that the SkyDrive storage limit is changing from 25GB to 7GB for new users. However, users that have been loyal to the service, the software giant will allow them to keep the 25GB; the catch is that this is an opt-in process and it is available for a limited time — so you better act now!
Take a look to what is available in the Microsoft’s cloud storage service:
- SkyDrive for Windows desktop (preview available now): View and manage your personal SkyDrive directly from Windows Explorer on Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista with this new preview app available in 106 languages worldwide.
- Fetching files through SkyDrive.com: Easily access, browse, and stream files from a remote PC running the SkyDrive app to just about anywhere by simply fetching them.
- SkyDrive for other devices: Improved apps on Windows Phone and iOS devices, bringing better management features and sharing options to those devices.
Additionally, Microsoft started offering new storage plans for those who need additional space and this is what is now available:
- SkyDrive Free: Cost $0 will get you 7GB.
- SkyDrive+20: Cost $10/year will add an extra 20GB to your already free storage — 27GB total.
- SkyDrive+50: Cost $25/year will add an extra 50GB to your already free storage — 57GB total.
- SkyDrive+100: Cost $50/year will add an extra 100GB to your already free storage — 107GB total.
If you’ve been using the service for a while now and you to want to avoid the SkyDrive storage limit to only 7GB, you’ll need to sign in to your Windows Live account, then you’ll notice a banner that reads: “SkyDrive’s free storage is changing — claim your free 25GB”.
Click on the link, which it will take you to the Manage Storage page, there you’ll find the new Storage plans, under the SkyDrive Free, just click the Free upgrade button and that’s all there is to it.
Also the company is explaining that 7GB of storage should be more than enough for the majority of users (99.94%). This is more that 2GB offered by DropBox — but don’t forget that you can get more free space — and more than the rumors around the Internet about Google offering 5GB for its soon to be released cloud storage service.
Plus users now have the ability to upload lager files of up to 2GB on size, and folder using the app, either for Windows or Mac.
The new preview SkyDrive apps are available for download now at https://apps.live.com/skydrive. Once download and install the app in your machine — for Windows users the default path will be C:\Users\user-name\SkyDrive –, all files and folder will be automatically synced to the cloud storage service, and across devices which you have configured with the service.
This is an improvement as how Windows Live Mesh works, where users needed to configure a folder, which was the only place available to sync files to the cloud.
The only strange thing is that there isn’t an app for Android users and there is no word if one will be coming in the near future.
Source Building Windows 8