Microsoft's SkyDrive storage service gets a facelift

Microsoft's SkyDrive storage service gets a facelift

Summary: A new, updated, more 'modern' version of Microsoft's SkyDrive storage service is rolling out over the next 24 hours.

TOPICS: Cloud, Microsoft, Storage

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


Microsoft officials took the wraps off the latest update to SkyDrive on August 14, 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 were detailed in a post on the new "Inside Skydrive" blog.

In addition to a new user interface for, Microsoft also has made bug fixes to Windows and Mac OS X Skydrive client apps, and is introducing a new SkyDrive for Android phone app that will be coming in "just a few weeks." The new 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 of whatever kind of "discussions" between Microsoft and an unnamed European partner have led to the discontinuation of the use of the Metro name, some teams at Microsoft seems 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. had posted some leaked screen shots in late July of the Metrofied SkyDrive.

In April 2012 Microsoft added paid storage options to SkyDrive. It also made available for download on April 23 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 begn replacing its Live Mesh PC-sync technology with SkyDrive on the PCs of those who install the latest bundle of consumer services known as Windows Essentials 2012. In today's post, SkyDrive officials noted they had heard the feedback from Live Mesh users that they need the ability to choose what to sync and said they are working on that capability for a future release.

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

Topics: Cloud, Microsoft, Storage


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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  • Full Resolution Photos?

    Any idea if Skydrive finally defaults to uploading photos through the web client at their full resolution, as opposed to downsizing them?

    That's the biggest issue I've had with Skydrive and it'd be very disappointing if that's not fixed.
    • photo resolution restrictions

      Hi. The new blog post says (under the SkyDrive for Developers section):

      "There are no longer any restrictions on the types of files that your application uploads to SkyDrive. Additionally, you can now upload images in their full resolution. "

      Mary Jo Foley
      • re: photo resolution restrictions

        Hmm, I must've missed that because it's under the developers section and not the photos section. Thanks.
        • Default setting?

          So is altering your irreplaceable family photos the default or not the default in the new SkyDrive then?

          Reducing a photo's resolution without warning is almost criminal, millions of people will use SkyDrive as their only backup for their photos.
          • Irreplacable photos should not live exclusively in the cloud

            Burn to DVD-R. Store on external hard disk. Upload a spanned, passworded ZIP/RAR/7z archive somewhere.

            If they are truly irreplaceable and they only live on Skydrive, you're *asking* for something to happen to them.

          • Agreed.

            Cloud-based solutions are great to have your stuff available everywhere, but it shouldn't be a replacement for making proper backups of your irreplaceable data on other mediums. I wouldn't only count on it, at least.
  • Microsoft's SkyDrive storage service gets a facelift

    Love the new modern look they are using. Its a very clean UI. Skydrive rocks!
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Already on Android

    SkyDrive has been on Android for ages, through third-party apps as well as the website.
    Tim Acheson
    • It'll be nice to make it official.

      I've hated every 3rd party app I've tried. It'll be nice to get an official portal to my skydrive storage.
  • Nice!

    Looking forward to trying it out. It can only get better by leaving the cluttered Windows Live interface behind.
  • Office 2013 is getting "Modernized" too, BUT...

    The grey colors in the new SkyDrive and are fine, but if you don't like the washed-out snow blindness 99% white in Office 2013, please remember to click the smiley face icon in the upper right corner in the Office 2013 beta and tell Microsoft about how the all-white hurts your eyes.

    We only have a couple months left where this kind of feedback has a chance of making a difference in the final product (especially in Outlook 2013).
  • Hum???

    My skydrive looks the same..has the changes been made yet??
    • Do you read.

      She states the changs are being rolled out over the next 24 hours.
  • Just call the UI 'Hetero'

    It worked for Chick Fila.
  • Raises yet another question in "app philosophy"

    Just like with, this thing raises question in the whole proprietary application model. Do we still need a separate SkyDrive app when it also works with your browser? Or do I seem to just miss the point in it?
    • The seperat program

      Allows your computers to stay in sycn without opening the browser. Just work on you documents, save the finished product. Hey presto next day at work file has been updated automatically and download to your work PC.
    • You need the app

      to actually sync files on your computer. Unless you only upload stuff you can view in your browser of course.
      Sam Wagner
  • Nice, but,

    MS lost a fair amount of my goodwill when they cut our SkyDrive storage from 25GB to 7GB.
    • Goodwill

      You mean when they cut the FREE service you were using. Meaning you're getting a little less for the nothing you put in. Why thats quite scandalous. Mine was recently upgraded, perhaps you should have taken advantage of that FREE offer.
  • Groups updated too!

    Nice to see that SkyDrive Groups are still around and got the facelift too, although if you create a new one it still has the "" email address