Microsoft’s free storage service “SkyDrive” is among us for a long time which can be considered as the alternative for popular cloud storage services like Dropbox and Box.net. Since Google Drive is expected to launch any day now, Microsoft today upgraded this storage service with a lot of new features, preparing to participate in the Battle of cloud storage service.
There are new storage options, apps offer similar functionality to Dropbox, and a more powerful device cloud that lets you “fetch” any file from a Windows PC. 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.
Here’s what’s available for use, starting 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.
While the word “upgrade” usually suggests good news, some of Microsoft’s changes aren’t so great. For example, Microsoft has reduced the amount of SkyDrive free storage from 25 GB to 7 GB for free account user with a 2 GB file size limit. Users who need more storage space will need to purchase paid storage. You can add 20 GB to your account by paying $10/year, add 50 GB by paying $25/year or 100 GB by paying $50/year.
For Existing user who registered before April 22nd, your free storage space will be automatically reduced from the previously available 25 GB to 7 GB if you have not used more than 4 GB of SkyDrive storage as of April 1. But it is still possible to get back the 25gb storage – if you have uploaded files to SkyDrive before April 22, 2012 and if you act now. Simply go to this link, and enter your Windows Live ID and password to login. You will see storage plans and a free upgrade offer. Simply click on Free upgrade to upgrade your storage space from 7 GB 25 GB for free. This Free upgrade is available for a limited time only and is not available for new users.