SkyDrive.com Gets Improved Sharing, Drag-Drop, HTML5 Features; New Visio Editions

Microsoft has rolled update to Skydrive.com "improved sharing, more drag-drop, HTML5 features," as well as new Visio 2013 editions, three new language to Office 2013, OData Service for TFS v2, UR for Windows Azure Online Backup, and announces the end of WLM.

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SkyDrive.com, Microsoft's cloud storage service received a number of updates including more new HTML5 features, and enhanced drag-and-drop capabilities making it easier to have a fast and fluid experience across the devices --including a number of under the hood improvements.

Drag-and-drop features have now been enhanced to make it easier to manage files, photos and documents. "You can now move files to anywhere in the hierarchy of your SkyDrive by using the bread crumb bar as the target," informs Microsoft.

Skydrive.com adds improved drag-and-drop features

On touch devices, Microsoft now allows "select an item or multiple items by swiping on the item to the left or right"--"similar to interactions on a new Windows 8 PC." Simply tapped the item to select it. Repeating the touch gesture will un-select it.

Also, Skydrive.com makes "unified all sharing-related info and tasks into a single screen." Skydrive offers a number of different ways to share your files--email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or simply generating a link to send to whoever you want. Unified sharing, will now let "you select a document and click Share in the command bar, and you'll see all the different ways to share the item as well as who has access," the company wrote.

Unified sharing in Skydrive.com

In other Microsoft products news, Microsoft has revealed that Visio 2013 will come in three flavors: "Microsoft Visio Standard 2013, Microsoft Visio Professional 2013 and Microsoft Visio Pro for Office 365."

"Visio Standard 2013 is designed for people looking for a powerful diagramming platform with a rich set of built-in stencils. Visio Professional 2013, on the other hand, has all the features of Standard 2013 but also comes with updated shapes and templates; enhanced support for team collaboration; and the ability to link diagrams to data."

"Visio Pro for Office 365 will be available via a subscription through Office 365 and comes with the same features in Professional 2013 and Visio on Demand. Visio Pro for Office 365 can be installed on up to five PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8," the company said.

Check the chart below providing a summary of the main functions available in each of the editions:

Functional chart of Microsoft Visio 2013

In another blog entry, the company has revealed that its new Office sutie software would support a total of 106 languages. Microsoft said that Office 2013 would now support three new Asian languages, "Indonesian, Malay and Vietnamese," while another thirteen have been added to the list of Language Interface Packs.

"For the many international users who need to consume or create content in more than one language we are introducing new ways to access Office proofing tools in additional languages. Three new languages have been fully localized for the first time and Language Interface Packs added in 13 more," Microsoft said.

Microsoft also released an update that adds features to Windows Azure Online Backup in System Center 2012 SP1 Data Protection Manager (DPM) and in Windows Server 2012.

The feautres include:

  • "This update improves the performance of Windows Azure Online Backup.
  • Windows Azure Online Backup support for a SQL Server data source in System Center 2012 SP1 DPM is available.
  • The retention range of Windows Azure Online Backup for System Center 2012 SP1 DPM is increased to support 120 recovery points," informs Microsoft.

Get the update from knowledge base article "Description of an update rollup package that adds features to Windows Azure Online Backup in System Center 2012 SP1 DPM and in Windows Server 2012 -- (KB2779569)."

New binary release of the Git-TF tools version 2.0.1 shipped today, and is available from Microsoft Download Center.

"Git-TF is a set of cross-platform, command line tools that facilitate sharing of changes between TFS and Git. These tools allow a developer to use a local Git repository, and configure it to share changes with a TFS server," read the description.

"Using the tools, changes made in TFS can be pulled into a local Git repository, and changes made in the Git repository can be checked in to TFS. These tools can be used by individuals or teams collaborating using Git."

Team Foundation Service Update January 7, adds the biggest end user feature "now making the new send work items via email feature work on the backlog as well as on work item queries." Also, Basic Authentication mechanism now support a wide variety of clients.

OData Service for Team Foundation Server v2 beta along with a sample Windows Store application is now available.

"The OData service interacts directly with the TFS client object model, and will work with CodePlex, Team Foundation Server 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2012," Microsoft stated.

"The purpose of this service is to help developers work with data from Team Foundation Server on multiple device types (such as smartphones and tablets) and operating systems. OData provides a great solution for this goal, and has been embraced by numerous developers for building great device-specific applications. OData is accessible from any device and application stack which supports HTTP requests," the company adds.

Grab the OData Service for Team Foundation Server v2 here.

Finally, Microsoft has now acknowledged of ending the Windows Live Messenger as on March 15th. Here is what the Microsoft e-mail reads,

"On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the existing Messenger service globally (except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available) and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together. Update to Skype and sign in using a Microsoft Account (same as your Messenger ID) and all your Messenger contacts will be at your fingertips. You'll be able to instant message and video chat with them just like before, and also discover new ways of staying in touch with Skype on your mobile and tablet."

Windows Live Messenger retiring to favour Skype: Microsoft email announcing the retiring

And, here is the brief FAQ that comes with the email:

So, what's happening between now and 15th March?
Messenger will continue to work as you know it today. If you are signed in with Messenger on your desktop** you will see a banner notification to upgrade. When you click on the banner, an installer window will open with the request to upgrade. This will take you through our installer flow to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger.

So, what's happening after 15th March?
Messenger users on desktops** will not be able to sign in and will only be able to upgrade to Skype. If you attempt to sign in, a notification will appear, and if you continue, you will be taken through our installer flow to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger at the same time.

** Newer versions of Messenger will be able to receive the optional upgrade notifications. Older versions will not receive the notifications and you will have to download Skype manually.