Microsoft has released SkyDrive desktop apps for both Windows and OSX today, along with these desktop apps Microsoft also announced the paid storage plans that are awaited from quite some time.
With the new desktop apps and paid storage plans Microsoft will now compete with established cloud storage service Dropbox and Google Drive that is expected to launch soon.
SkyDrive is now offering 7GB of free storage to the users unlike the previous 25Gb free space it offered. If you are a SkyDrive user you can keep your 25GB free storage for now if you act quickly. If you have already used 4GB of space your account is automatically upgraded to 25GB of free space, If not open SkyDrive and claim your 25Gb of free space by clicking a button.
What’s available now:
- SkyDrive for the Windows desktop (preview available now). View and manage your personal SkyDrive directly from Windows Explorer on Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista with this new preview app available in 106 languages worldwide.
- Fetching files through SkyDrive.com. Easily access, browse, and stream files from a remote PC running the preview app to just about anywhere by simply fetching them via SkyDrive.com.
- SkyDrive storage updates. A new, more flexible approach to personal cloud storage that allows power users to get additional paid storage as their needs grow.
- SkyDrive for other devices. We’ve updated the SkyDrive apps on Windows Phone and iOS devices, bringing better management features and sharing options to those devices. We’re also releasing a new preview client for Mac OS X Lion, letting you manage your SkyDrive right from the Finder.
Microsoft also announced paid plans for the service. The paid plans start at $10/year for 20GB of extra space, $25/year for 50GB of extra space and $50/year for 100GB of extra space.
The 7GB of free storage offered to new users is still bigger than Dropbox 2Gb offering and Google Drive’s rumored 5GB of free storage. If you haven’t tried SkyDrive before this is the time you should try with the new desktop apps that are released.
If you are wondering why it is capped at 7GB, Microsoft explains:
7GB free for all new SkyDrive users. We chose 7GB as it provides enough space for over 99% of people to store their entire Office document library and share photos for several years, along with room for growth. To put things in perspective, 99.94% of SkyDrive customers today use 7GB or less – and 7GB is enough for over 20,000 Office documents or 7,000 photos. Since the current base of customers using SkyDrive tilts towards enthusiasts, we are confident that, as we expand the range of people using SkyDrive, this 7GB free limit will prove to be more than enough for even more people.
You will be able to upload files and folders as large as 2GB using SkyDrive apps for Windows and Mac. SkyDrive offers 300MB uploads through browser.
Although some third party apps existed for SkyDrive, there is no official app till now. This is changed with the new desktop apps. Download the app and install, once you install it will default to C:\Users\<username>\SkyDrive\, you can place your files or folders in the SkyDrive folder and they will be auto synced to cloud and you have access to them from other devices that are connected to SkyDrive. The Windows desktop app is similar to the Dropbox app for desktop.
Along with the desktop apps, Windows Phone and iPhone apps got updates, users of these platforms can now delete, rename and move files in SkyDrive and access full set of sharing options for all files and folders. SkyDrive for iPad is also released along with all these features.
SkyDrive app for Windows is available for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
- Get SkyDrive for Windows (preview)
- Get SkyDrive for Windows Phone
- Get SkyDrive for iPhone and iPad
- Get SkyDrive for OS X Lion (preview)