One of the most requested features for Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage and syncing service, which already comes with a healthy 25Gb of free space. appears to be almost ready for release. Brazilian website gemind.com has released some screenshots that show extra storage of 20Gb, 50Gb and 100Gb for an additional $10, $25 and $50 per year.
It is also rumoured that Microsoft are set to raise the file size limit for uploads from 100Mb to 300Mb, which will make SkyDrive much more suitable for video storage. Lastly there is talk of the company preparing Windows and Mac-specific versions of a SkyDrive app, though it is already that some basic SkyDrive functions are already part of Windows 8. These will be necessary though as the current web-interface for uploading files to SkyDrive is unfriendly and featureless.
Microsoft is clearly aiming their sights at DropBox, the current market leader in cloud storage and it should do well, especially if the Live Mesh file sync client is allowed to use all of the available space, rather than the current 5Gb limit for cloud storage.
There is still along way for SkyDrive to go before it becomes a no-brainer for users, including the ability to strip attachments out of Hotmail (both sent, received and old and new) to help people who use Windows Live Mail or the Outlook Hotmail Connector plug-in, but this is a very welcome start.
There’s absolutely no word yet on when the extra services will be launching, but it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that they’re definitely coming and that they will be rolled-out gradually as usually happens with Microsoft products. Usually countries such as US, UK and some major European countries get the first call with others rolled out within a few months.
It is also rumoured that Google is planning a similar service, though GDrive rumours have been around for some considerable time now. Google have had difficulty with their non-search and advertising products, especially when it comes to integration. Microsoft conversely is the current king of the integrated service and clearly this move with SkyDrive is intended to keep them at the top.