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Microsoft Upgrades SkyDrive Too Before Google Drive Storm

By - Source: Microsoft | B 22 comments

Microsoft has also updated SkyDrive with three paid capacities and a free 25 GB upgrade for current users.

Microsoft doesn't plan to be left behind in the cloud storage wars, and apparently sniffs a Google entry that's slated to arrive soon. That said, the Redmond company has made a few changes to SkyDrive, one of which is cranking up existing users from 7 GB to an optional-yet-meaty 25 GB (seriously, who'd turn that down?) for free. No strings attached.

Starting Monday, Microsoft now offers three additional paid storage plans: 20 GB of additional space for $10 per year, 50 GB of additional space for $25 per year, and 100 GB of additional space for $50 per year. New SkyDrive users will start off with 7 GB of free storage, but won't receive the free 25 GB upgrade as will the existing users.

So how do you connect with SkyDrive outside the Web browser? On Monday Microsoft made available a preview version of SkyDrive for Windows, a local version of its SkyDrive client, compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview. This allows users to access files on SkyDrive directly from Windows Explorer, add new files to the virtual locker by dragging them to the SkyDrive folder, organize files and folders just like any other local folder, and more.

There's also an updated version of the Windows Phone app which was released on Sunday, and a new preview of SkyDrive for Mac OS X Lion that's now available to download. On the mobile front, Microsoft has updated the iPhone and iPad versions that adds support for the Retina display and other features. So far it looks as if Android has been left out of the loop, although that could change in the near future given that Microsoft still provides apps on the rival platform.

"As we set upon the path to bring SkyDrive closer to Windows, we had a few goals that drove our plan," Microsoft said in a blog on Monday. "First, we wanted you to be able to 'get up and running' as quickly as possible, with very few steps. Secondly, we wanted to 'be quiet' on the system and make sure that all processing was entirely in the background, with your needs and your apps as the first priority. And third, we really wanted it all to 'just work' as you’d expect it to, staying up-to-date automatically, and humming along without confusing dialogs or pop-ups."

Microsoft's virtual locker now also offers a "fetch" feature. With the SkyDrive software installed on a Windows machine, the user's PC essentially turns into a private cloud to browse files and stream videos from anywhere through the website. This is helpful when users are out of town and left certain files on their desktop, or they're stuck in the motel room and want a special video to watch that's stored on the home drive.

"In order to access a remote PC you will have to provide a second factor of authentication beyond your account password," Microsoft said. "You’ll need to enter a code that we send to your mobile phone or alternate email address even if you’re already signed in to your SkyDrive account (if you’re already on a trusted PC, you won’t have to do this every time, and it is easy to do this one-time setup). This means that anyone wanting access to your remote PC would have to have access not only to your account, but also to either an alternate email or your phone (which they would need to physically possess)."

For more information about the updates to SkyDrive, check out Microsoft's blog here. Remember, if you're already a SkyDrive user, your 7 GB capacity can be upgraded to 25 GB for free. New members won't get this upgrade, but will start out with 7 GB of free storage. That's still not bad considering the competition, but what hurts SkyDrive is a lack of Android support.

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  • 9 Hide
    CaedenV , April 24, 2012 4:08 PM
    um... skydrive has been at 25GB for a while now. Unless I am someone special... which I am pretty sure I am not.
  • 5 Hide
    Cy-Kill , April 24, 2012 4:16 PM
    The only way to get the 25GB from SkyDrive is if you had an account before April 22nd, although don't take my word for it, but it's what I've been reading online.

    Even if you had the free 25GB before, MS has downgraded you to 7GB, and like I said above, you can get back to the 25GB if you've had an account before April 22nd.
  • 6 Hide
    Nakal , April 24, 2012 4:16 PM
    Someone told me they reduced it to 7GB for everyone, and you could get it back by going through some process on the web. I know, sounds stupid to move everyone from 25GB to 7GB only to say you can have 25GB again and advertise it as a new feature.
  • 0 Hide
    ragenalien , April 24, 2012 4:16 PM
    CaedenVum... skydrive has been at 25GB for a while now. Unless I am someone special... which I am pretty sure I am not.

    Proof that toms takes forever to report things.
  • 2 Hide
    Cy-Kill , April 24, 2012 4:30 PM
    It was downgraded to 7GB a couple of days ago, but you can get the 25GB back, although I am not sure if the April 22nd cut-off date is accurate or not.
  • 3 Hide
    CaedenV , April 24, 2012 4:37 PM
    ragenalienProof that toms takes forever to report things.

    I figured out what happened.

    When I set up Skydrive for the Win8DP it gave me 25GB of online storage, and 5GB of syncable storage. When I checked my account I was in fact downgraded to 7GB, but now the syncable drive and the online storage were a single drive (they were separate before), and now that I 'upgraded' back to 25GB I now have 25GB of syncable storage which now works in win7 as well as win8CP which is kinda a handy feature.
  • -5 Hide
    zaznet , April 24, 2012 5:10 PM
    No Android support, no sign up from me...
  • 1 Hide
    blurr91 , April 24, 2012 5:24 PM
    I have always had 25GB on Skydrive... It's about time Microsoft released a client side interface for it. I never liked the clumsy web-based interface. Microsoft does a lot of things right, but web apps that are user-friendly have never been a strong point.
  • 3 Hide
    balo_p , April 24, 2012 5:35 PM
    If you go to the Skydrive app page there is a link at the bottom of the page for More Skydrive Apps. There are two Android browsing apps. I have not tried either yet but will later tonight.
  • 0 Hide
    ukulele97 , April 24, 2012 6:01 PM
    Skydrive, Google Drive - does any of those sync like dropbox?
  • 1 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , April 24, 2012 6:25 PM
    For those that are complaining about lack of android support, try this:
  • 4 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , April 24, 2012 6:26 PM
    ukulele97Skydrive, Google Drive - does any of those sync like dropbox?
    Goggle Drive isn't out yet, so I can't speak for that, but SkyDrive works exactly like dropbox.
  • -1 Hide
    StitchExperiment626 , April 24, 2012 7:33 PM
    The problem I had was that you couldn't put executable files in the cloud to be stored. And it would only store a limited set of file types.
    Here's a better place that is free to try for a month 250GB. Then $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year.
    It will do multiple computers.
    It does cloud storage and retrieve of ANY type of file, and will do system image
    The software provides system image in the cloud and physical even to an NAT system. Doing incremental backup of new files on your set schedule to cloud and physical.
    The software is free which would normally cost you $30-$80.
    Recovery can be from USB or disk.
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , April 25, 2012 12:45 AM
    Microsoft has also updated SkyDrive with three paid capacities and a free 25 GB upgrade for current users.

    Microsoft Upgrades SkyDrive Too Before Google Drive Storm : Read more

    I've used SkyDrive for about as long as it's been around. It was one of those weird experiences when cloud storage started to take off and I had that free 25GB of free online storage sitting there. Then I see yesterday that my limit dropped to 7GB. As someone else mentioned, they tell you that you have the option to keep your original 25, but it's not as rosy as the article suggests. From reading the article I thought I was about to get a boost from 25 to 50, but oh well. I was using less than 1 GB of it anyway.

    Don't like cloud storage much anyway. Why? I live in Florida. Florida has thunderstoms nearly half the year. Last weekend, we had thunderstorms. Electricity blinked out a moment, but the internet was down for several hours (Comcast may have fast internet, but their service can be absolute crap sometimes). If I did have all my stuff stored in the cloud, I'd have been stuck for about six hours without access to any of my stuff. Then of course you have things like with Megaupload...

    My suggestion to everyone, keep your data on your own computer, get a hard drive and an external enclosure, and handle your own backups. It'll probably save you time, money, and headaches in the long run. But that's just my two cents.
  • 0 Hide
    Erich_18 , April 25, 2012 2:08 AM
    Sweet! I'm back to using skydrive for my cloud computing needs (mainly work and personal docs). Had switched to dropbox mainly because of the folder style client for windows and ios. MS finally made their client app and finally updated that sleezy iphone looking app they had for the ipad.
  • 0 Hide
    StitchExperiment626 , April 25, 2012 3:11 AM
    You can do the same thing with this... it has its own processor will do anything serve the house and cloud but won't do the dirty dishes.

    Western Digital My Book Live 1,2 or 3 TB Personal Cloud Storage Drive

    Connect this powerful drive to your wireless router for shared storage on your home network that you can access within and outside the home. Share files with Mac computers and PCs, stream media to your television through your DLNA™-enabled devices, and access files remotely with the WD 2go app and website.

    Your media and files on your own personal cloud - Create your own personal cloud, without the monthly fees and mysterious location of your data. Store your media and files on the drive and access them securely over the Internet with any PC or Mac computer. Or, use WD's mobile apps for easy access with your tablet or smartphone. It's like having up to 3 TB of extra storage for your mobile device.

    Automatic, wireless backup for all your computers - Protect your precious memories and wirelessly back up all the PC and Mac computers on your network to one reliable location. Windows users can use the included WD SmartWare software and every time you save something, it's instantly backed up. Mac users can utilize all the features of Apple® Time Machine™ backup software to protect their data.

    Ideal for

    Storing your digital media collection on your wired or wireless network
    Sharing videos, music, and photos with all the computers on your network
    Backing up data from all the PCs and Mac computers in your home
    Viewing photos and files with your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, or Android™ smartphone
    Streaming media to your Blu-ray Disc™ players, game consoles, media players, or other DNLA/UPnP devices on your home network
    What's in the box
    Network drive, Ethernet cable, AC power adapter, Installation and software CD, Quick Install Guide.

    Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista, Windows 7
    Mac OS® X Leopard or Snow Leopard
    DLNA/UPnP enabled devices

    I'v just purchased a new Linksys/Cisco EA-3500 router and am thinking of attaching a 2 TB unit to it.
  • 0 Hide
    arlandi , April 25, 2012 3:13 AM
    cool. after dropbox upgraded their bonus from 250 mb to 500 mb, now skydrive. it's gonna be interesting to see what will offer to compete. most likely, i will be using them all.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , April 25, 2012 9:33 AM
    The best thing about Skydrive is not the 25Gb of storage, it is the remote access function so you can turn your whole PC into a big remote file server. Streaming to my laptop so I can watch the many Tb's of TV or movies I have is so cool
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , April 26, 2012 12:11 PM
    This is good to know. I have been using Skydrive to back up my photos, through the web interface. After I just checked I realized I had been downgraded 7GB, which would not hold all my photos. It's also nice to see there is finally a computer client, which will make it a lot easier to back everything up.
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