SkyDrive.com is Microsoft’s answer to Drop Box and it’s a key feature in the future of Windows 8 across all devices. It’s the cloud storage that is made to allow your devices to properly sync with another one and give you a truly ‘personal’ experience that spreads across all of the Microsoft platforms.
This piece of software needs to work for a billion or more users right out of the box when Windows 8 launches and needs to not only function but look great on top of it. Microsoft has been busy pulling all of their applications into a more Metro, I’m sorry, Windows 8 interface and this week it is SkyDrive’s turn. The visual overhaul has been nothing but spectacular in terms of looks. While there has been some people disagreeing with the look it really stands out as both a clean, user friendly, and beautiful interface. They truly hype SkyDrive as a platform for ‘possibilities’ on content that you can create and use anywhere from whatever device that you are on. I am a huge fan of cloud storage for just this use as I use Drop Box religiously for the same reason though with the changes Microsoft has been making (and it’s being built into Windows 8) I may soon be switching which cloud platform I am dedicated to.
Today marks the day that SkyDrive has come out now in the new version and is ready on a few platforms. Out of preview you can see the new versions on:
- SkyDrive.com – New, modern design for desktop and tablet browsers with instant search, contextual toolbar, thumbnail multi-select, drag-and-drop organization, and HTML5 sorting
- SkyDrive for Windows desktop & OS X – Faster uploads for people around the world and tons of bug and performance improvements under the hood
- SkyDrive for Android – A new app that lets you access, upload and share from Android phones
- SkyDrive for developers – Apps built using our SkyDrive API can now store or access any type of file in a person’s SkyDrive, plus there’s a new, easy-to-use file picker API for websites (similar to our file picker for Windows 8 apps)
So SkyDrive is ready to be used pretty much anywhere though this announcement doesn’t say a new iOS version has been released so I can’t guarantee that iPhone and iPad users have access to the new interface quite yet.
Aside from that though there are a lot of new features that have been included in within the streamlined interface. The new layout is fully tile based for accessing your folders and files (with a classic details view for those who prefer the classic layout.)
One of the enhanced features that were just added was Instant Search. Instant Search allows you to easily search for a file or phrase through all of your directories and documents that are on your SkyDrive. Wrote a certain phrase into a note and can’t find it? Instant Search has you covered.
Another bonus is the Contextual toolbar that was added into SkyDrive. Many of the common commands that are used within SkyDrive can now be found within the toolbar that is conveniently located at the top of the page and will be available across the platform here. Speaking of usability a multi-select drag and drop has been added to also allow you to easier copy or move files around on your drive.
Sorting has often been an issue within SkyDrive for some users in the past. Now through many suggestions it has added many of the default ways to sort data that are found within Windows itself and have included a way to rearrange them as you see fit.
The desktop applications for Windows and OS X have been sped up and reconfigured to have a few speed increases and more customization options for uploads and syncing for your devices. As we all know customization on this sort of thing is the way to go and it looks as if they’ve made it easy to use from the early visuals as well.