Microsoft SkyDrive Gets Major Overhaul

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft's popular cloud computing service, SkyDrive, is reported to be getting a major overhaul soon.

Included in the upgrade will be a number of visual improvements, the addition of a drag-and-drop feature, and a new tool that allows users to access files stored on their home computers from anywhere, securely, via the SkyDrive site.

With about 17 million customers, Microsoft's SkyDrive service is one of the more popular cloud storage applications. However, that popularity hasn't discouraged Microsoft from giving the platform a major upgrade that it hopes will help drive the service to the very vanguard of the cloud storage market.

SkyDrive Meets 'Metro'

The most obvious change introduced by the update -- recently unveiled on Microsoft's Windows 8 blog -- will be the way SkyDrive looks.

By implementing the popular "Metro" interface, already used on the Windows Phone 7 platform (and soon to become a major part of Windows 8), the updated SkyDrive will allow users to swipe through their files quickly and easily.

Given that the Metro interface is such a major part of Windows 8, experts believe the SkyDrive update will become available when the upcoming operating system is made available for Consumer Preview this coming week. (Source:

Another addition to SkyDrive is a new drag and drop feature which allows users to conveniently move files (of up to 2GB) to and from their SkyDrive accounts. It's a capability that is long overdue, and will almost certainly be welcomed by all 17 million SkyDrive users.

Access SkyDrive From Anywhere

The third major addition to SkyDrive, a new "Forgot something?" tool, is getting the most attention.

The 'Forgot something?' tool allows users of Microsoft's cloud service to navigate files on their home computer remotely, simply by logging in to their SkyDrive accounts from any other PC.

Details are still a little fuzzy, so it's not yet known if security concerns will force restrictions on the kinds of files one can access this way.

Microsoft says it plans to prevent abuse through a rather thorough dual-authentication system that is supposed to make hacking the revamped SkyDrive system twice as difficult.

Given these three handy improvements, some experts believe SkyDrive could soon emerge as the front-runner in the still relatively new cloud service market. (Source:

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