Microsoft has added paid storage options to its SkyDrive cloud service. In a April 23 blog post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Omar Shahine and Mike Torres posted the announcement of the new updates to SkyDrive that "make personal cloud storage for Windows available anywhere."
"There are new storage options, apps that connect your devices to SkyDrive, and a more powerful device cloud that lets you "fetch" any file from a Windows PC," the duo posted.
"The new SkyDrive users get 7 GB of storage for free. Existing users those of who've account as of April 22 can opt in to keep 25GB of free storage while still getting all of the benefits of the new service. For users who are already using more than 4GB as of April 1, Microsoft automatically opted them in to 25GB of free storage. After that, an additional 20 GB costs $10 per year; an additional 50 GB costs $25 per year; and an additional 100 GB, $50 per year."
"Taken together with access from popular mobile phones and a browser, you can now take your SkyDrive with you anywhere, connect it to any app that works with files and folders, and get all the storage you need--making SkyDrive the most powerful personal cloud storage service available," they adds.
Early adopters, are getting a sweet deal --just click on the link in the message, which brings you to the managed storage page…now click on the Free upgrade button, and you'll keep your 25gb as free storage. From here, too, you can manage paid storage options, adding 100 gb of storage for $50/year. Per blog post:
- 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.
- Ability to upload large files - up to 2GB - and folders using SkyDrive for the Windows desktop or SkyDrive for OS X Lion.
- Paid storage plans (+20GB, +50GB, +100GB) so that power users who need more storage can easily add more at competitive prices (US$10/year, US$25/year, US$50/year). Please note that paid-for storage requires the ability to pay by credit card (or via PayPal, in some markets) and a Windows Live ID that can be associated with that credit card or PayPal account.
Here's what's available now on the SkyDrive apps download page:
- 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.
"Once you have download and installs the app…it begins running in the system tray. A folder is created automatically for you in a default location or one you choose during setup, and your SkyDrive files immediately start to appear. Once your SkyDrive is available on your PC, this special folder stays in sync with your SkyDrive. If you rename a file on your phone, it appears immediately in this folder on your PC. If you delete a file from SkyDrive.com, it is deleted immediately here as well. Or if you create a folder and move files from another PC, Mac, or iPad, those changes immediately sync, too," explains Shahine and Torres.
Also, with SkyDrive running on a PC, you can also turn that PC into your own private cloud to browse your files and stream videos from anywhere through SkyDrive.com. This feature is great if you forgot something on your home PC and need to fetch it or just copy it quickly to SkyDrive.
For power users -- "If you'd like your SkyDrive folders to feel less like separate folders, you can add your SkyDrive Documents and Pictures folders to your Documents and Pictures Libraries in Windows 8 and Windows 7. Alternatively, you could change the target location for special folders like Documents or Pictures (or others) to folders in your SkyDrive, basically treating your SkyDrive as your primary drive (right-click the Documents folder, click Properties, and then Location). You can also customize the default root of the synchronized folder (to use a different drive, for example), and this option is available during setup of the SkyDrive app," Shahine and Torres explains.
So, as you can see, the simple and straightforward model of having a single folder for your SkyDrive still leaves lots of creative options for personalization.
And, Windows Phone or iPhone user, with today's release, can now delete, rename, and move files in your SkyDrive, and access a full set of sharing options for all files and folders. Also, SkyDrive now available on iPad, with all the same capabilities you now have available through the iPhone, plus support for the new iPad retina display.
Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Windows Phone, and iPhone, and additional apps are also available, including apps for Android.
You can download the new SkyDrive apps here, and take a look at the video below to see the aforementioned features: