Microsoft Skydrive Apps Released, Important Changes

Microsoft has just released applications for its SkyDrive cloud hosting service that allow users to access and synchronize files with desktop and mobile applications. On the desktop, both a Windows and Macintosh version was released. Windows users need to know that SkyDrive for Windows supports Windows Vista and newer operating systems, and not Windows XP.

But there are additional changes that are important to all Skydrive users. Microsoft has for instance reduced the available storage for all SkyDrive users who were using less than 4 Gigabytes of the available 25 Gigabytes to 7 Gigabyte. Users who log into their account right now and access the new Manage Storage option there can increase the storage again to 25 Gigabyte of storage. Plus, they can subscribe to additional storage:

  • 20 Gigabytes extra cost $10 per year
  • 50 Gigabytes extra cost $25 per year
  • 100 Gigabytes extra cost $50 per year

Microsoft accepts both credit card payments and payments via PayPal in some markets.

As far as the Windows app goes, it works similar to the Dropbox service. Windows users need to install the app on their system and link their account to it by entering their Windows Live username and password. Once linked, a SkyDrive folder is created under the user folder of the operating system. The folder is automatically available in the Favorites listing in Windows Explorer, and all files and folders currently hosted on SkyDrive will be synced with the system.

skydrive windows explorer

It is unfortunately not possible to change the location of that folder on the system, for instance by moving it to a different drive if the user folder drive has not that much space left.

Windows users also need to take note that SkyDrive is automatically enabling a feature that is making available all of the PC’s files on the Skydrive website. While protected with an additional security code that is send to the account’s email address, it is nevertheless something that users need to consider.

It also needs consideration that sharing options can only be modified on the SkyDrive website, and not on individual PCs. That is, other than unlinking a PC from the file synchronization.

SkyDrive users, both new and old, can download and install the available apps from the official website.

It is likely that this new release is in preparation of a tight integration of SkyDrive in Microsoft’s upcoming operating system Windows 8. Have you tested the new apps and features yet? If so, what is your take on the new release?

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