Microsoft updates SkyDrive with HTML5 upload, PDF support and more

Microsoft is updating its SkyDrive cloud storage service with a number of new features and enhancements.

Microsoft is rolling out on November 29 a new release of its SkyDrive cloud-storage service that includes a number of new features and updates, including HTML5 uploading and PDF support.

In a new "Inside Windows Live" blog post, Microsoft officials detailed the various enhancements that will go live for users later today.

Among the updates: HTML5 rich-upload capability: Currently, SkyDrive uses Silverlight for rich upload support. In the new release, Microsoft is adding drag and drop as a way to upload files and photos with browsers that support HTML5 File API, including Internet Explorer 10, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari. Users can browse and use SkyDrive rather than waiting for uploads to complete with the new release, as well.

Better photo slideshow support: Microsoft has "rebuilt and "re-introduced" photo slideshows with the release so that they work faster.

Rich viewing support for PDFs: With the new SkyDrive update, users can click a PDF and load it using whatever available PDF viewer their browsers support. "This means that on IE, Firefox and Safari, PDFs will load in the browser if you have Adobe Acrobat installed. On Chrome, PDFs will load using Chrome’s native PDF viewer," the post explains.

Overall performance enhancements: Now many actions -- like upload, delete, copy, move, rename, share and create -- happen inline. The new SkyDrive release preloads more resources while users are signing in, making it faster to view and edit docs. Officials also claim that signing into the new SkyDrive will be "about 50 percent faster."

Simplified app sharing, especially for Office: The new SkyDrive release allows users to share from within apps and complete their tasks without having to think about structures of folders and subfolders. The new release allows for sharing of individual files, photos and documents within a folder. Users also can more simply share SkyDrive documents and photos via e-mail and by posting to their networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Microsoft posted this video to YouTube explaining the new SkyDrive features:

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