Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

Summary: As officials have been hinting in recent weeks, Microsoft has relaunched and updated its Windows Live SkyDrive cloud storage service.

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As officials have been hinting in recent weeks, Microsoft has relaunched and updated its Windows Live SkyDrive cloud storage service.

Microsoft is altering the SkyDrive user interface so that it is easier and quicker for users to see exactly what they've stored and how to access their files, photos and documents.

The updated SkyDrive -- which is basically Microsoft's free Dropbox competitor -- has been revised to incorporate HTML5 via the new SkyDrive Web site. For users accessing SkyDrive via Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has made the new site pinnable. Microsoft also is doubling the limit for individual file sizes to 100 MB, while keeping the overall maximum for a single account to 25GB of stored files.

Microsoft is planning to make the SkyDrive update available starting later today (June 20), officials said.

I'm thinking that Microsoft is relaunching SkyDrive today because the company is ready to make "Mango," the next version of its Windows Phone operating system, available to testers, starting this week. Microsoft officials have said that improved SkyDrive integration will be one of the new features in Mango. With Mango, users will be able to share photos stored on SkyDrive via e-mail, text or instant messaging, and will be able to share videos immediately after shooting them, with the uploading happening in the background, officials noted again today.

Microsoft officials said earlier this month that more than 100 million people have used SkyDrive to store their personal information.

I am wondering when/how/if Microsoft is going to integrate Live Mesh, its consumer-focused synchronization service, and SkyDrive. Anyone have any guesses (educated or otherwise)?

Update: One of my Twitter buds, @spatacoli, notes that "in the new SkyDrive you can click on the link 'View Synched Folders' and it'll show the folders synched with Windows Live Mesh." And there it is!

(click on image above to enlarge)

Meanwhile, if you missed this chart comparing the different personal cloud-storage/sync services (SkyDrive, iCloud, Dropbox, Cloud Drive) from Pocket-Lint, it's worth checking out.

Topics: Windows, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Storage

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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29 comments
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  • Sorry... still no dice

    I need bigger file sizes than 100 MB. I have digital family vacation video files that are in the GB range. Skydrive still won't serve my needs.
    steveholt68
    • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

      @steveholt68
      I agree. I'd rather have only 10GB of total storage in exchange for a larger per-file limit. But this new larger size is a welcome change though.
      JohnMorgan3
      • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

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    • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

      @steveholt68

      You can use Mesh to sync a larger file, and then give others access. Unfortunately, once you get the larger file up there, there's no obvious way to move it from the synched folder to another location in Skydrive.

      The new interface is definitely better using IE9, but hopefully they'll improve it even more. Some functions are great and really obvious, while others,k such as moving files between folders, are cryptic at best.
      1DaveN
    • The simplest thing for MS to do ...

      @steveholt68,

      ... is to install software on computers users leave on all the time, and let that act as personal clouds. These PCs could even go to sleep, when they have not been used for a while.
      P. Douglas
    • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

      @steveholt68

      Those would be better stored on a backup hard drive, rather than the cloud.

      You'll be sitting there for days trying to upload those kinds of files.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

      @steveholt68
      Checkout SnapCrowd.com they give 4th file sizes for docs, audio and video and 200mb for photos.
      snapcrowd
    • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

      Microsoft is updating its SkyDrive cloud-based storage service, providing a zippier experience by using HTML5 technology as well as hardware acceleration. Two weeks after Apple made a lot of noise by introducing iCloud, Microsoft today announced updates to its own cloud service, SkyDrive, to give it wider appeal. When a tech topic gets hot-such as, oh, storing all your files in the cloud -it's rare for Microsoft not to have a relevant offering.<a href="http://www.slimspamedical.com">HCG Weight Loss</a>
      user202
  • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

    3 things.
    1) They still need to make live mesh and WP7-skydrive "just" work. There should be no difference between how it works. The Cloud the PC and the device seamlessly synched.
    2) I should be able to sync full fidelity pictures to skydrive. Since I am not an online "sharer" I don?t see the point of it otherwise (because it is useless as a backup). Plus I do not want to have to think about how things work. As a consumer I don't want to care "is it full resolution?". If I delete it from my camera, do I have a full resolution back up anywhere? yada yada yada. Just make it work.
    3) add automatic archiving to manage the space available on device, cloud and PC. As my device fills up automatically move the files to an Archive folder, Where I get just a thumb nail and I need to download to see the file. Again as a consumer I do not want to have to worry about setting this up. just make it work
    nanderto
  • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

    This is some cool stuff. I kept meaning to check out SkyDrive. Guess now I really have to.
    Darkninja962
  • Why So Complicated?

    It's such a simple concept extending a Windows machine's storage to include some folders in the cloud. Why does Microsoft have to make it so complicated? Just give users a desktop folder designated as their SkyDrive folder. If they just kept it simple no-one would have ever heard of Dropbox. Instead they've turned it into an over-engineered mess.
    curph
    • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

      @curph I definitely agree to you, however there's this third party program that can "mount" your skydrive as a networked drive on your computer... choose between SDExplorer or Gladinet, both have free versions... but then again Microsoft should already provide this kind of service anyways
      zaghy2zy
    • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

      @curph - That's very interesting. I tried out Dropbox but went for Live Mesh in the end because I didn't have to designate a single desktop folder for my SkyDrive, but could choose the folders I wanted to share. Each to their own, I guess.
      TV John
  • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

    The inability to move more than one folder or file around is mind blowing.
    JimmyFal
  • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

    Microsoft just had to copy the dropbox windows client and API. Can somebody tell MS skydrive team just to take a look at dropbox.
    And what about the name? Windows Live Mesh 2011... WTF 2011
    paul2011
  • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

    Okay, seriously, Dropbox has been out for a WHILE NOW. I can synch big files which SkyDrive doesn't support, so they're already at a disadvantage, but hey, maybe I should give it a shot. I create a SkyDrive, go to the photos folder, set up the permissions for a friend to be able to see my photos. Go to upload some pictures, and ... I can't upload a folder, only individual pictures. I can't create a folder to organize the pictures either. So, fail already. Probably won't use it.
    gwconnery@...
  • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

    Just give me a folder in my file system that gets synchronized without Mesh complication! Just copy Dropbox!
    davidismyname
  • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

    While SkyDrive is great in ways, its got this massive issue. Interacting with your synced folders when not on a device that is Live Mesh. Interacting with your Synced folders is IMPOSSIBLE on the web. You MUST have the Live Mesh client to replace files in these Sync Folders. Horrible, 2nd class member in the SkyDrive eco system.

    Every other comment here has nailed it on the head, Microsoft clearly doesn't get it. COPY DROPBOX! Or just buy them in 2 years for a couple of billion.

    And really why do we have something even called Live Mesh. I need multiple named products to interact with one service?! Probably part of the problem 2 departments/teams not interacting with each other, how classic. It should be called Windows Live SkyDrive and nothing freaking more.

    I want to right click a folder and say Sync to SkyDrive, Share with blah on SkyDrive, Send Public Link. I want to easily understand where my files are stored and interact with them from anywhere on any device. I want my device cloud, web cloud and whatever else cloud to share the same place so it makes sense.

    FYI Sync Folders or what they were called in the last web version Synced Storage has always been accessible view only from the web so your update is not new information. Its just been made slightly more obvious so people can be confused about how to store their files on Microsoft's cloud storage.
    koolin_
    • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

      @koolin_

      Live Mesh is THE best sync services out there to sync folders and IE favourites between different computers. Also allows multi-monitor remote desktop for free.

      The current web interface update is good step in the right direction.
      owlnet
  • RE: Microsoft relaunches, revises SkyDrive, its Dropbox competitor

    Just me or does it feel like MS just doesn't get the bigger pic anymore... everyone else does EXCEPT MS
    tiedmyhands67@...