Microsoft's SkyDrive gets a fresh coat of paint

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

SkyDrive
ZDNet

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 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 for Android phone app 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 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.

LiveSide.net 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 Outlook.com, its successor to Hotmail.com, now has 10 million registered users signed up. Microsoft made the Outlook.com preview available on July 31.

This item first appeared on ZDNet's All About Microsoft blog under the headline "Microsoft's SkyDrive storage service gets a facelift."

About the author

    Mary Jo Foley has been a tech journalist for almost 30 years. She is editor of ZDNet's "All About Microsoft" blog. She authored "Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era" and co-hosts the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT Network.

     

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