Microsoft gives Skydrive cloud service a facelift

After showing off the new Office suite and Outlook, Microsoft is all set to put forth its improved cloud storage services. In the latest post on the Microsoft blog, the software giant has revealed that will now sport a new, modern design for desktop and tablet browsers, along with features such as instant search, contextual toolbar, thumbnail multi-select, drag-and-drop organization, and content sorting. The SkyDrive for Windows desktop and OS X is enhanced with faster uploads and numerous performance improvements. Microsoft also mentions in the blog post, the SkyDrive for Android app useful for accessing, uploading and sharing content from Android phones.

Improved Skydrive

Improved Skydrive


“With the update to that's rolling out over the next 24 hours, we've taken the same DNA from the SkyDrive Windows 8 app and brought that to the web. We've updated nearly 100 percent of the SkyDrive UI to provide a fast and fluid web experience on all browsers and devices,” adds the blog. The new instant search feature enables users to quickly search a file anywhere in the SkyDrive, including the content of Office documents such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The contextual toolbar has been crafted to make common actions and commands easier. The new update also improves how one interacts with their stuff, by moving many of the common commands into the toolbar at the top of the page. Users can select multiple files in thumbnail view, rearrange photos the way they want, and drag and drop files and folders.
Microsoft has added sorting functionality to its cloud storage so that users can customize and save the sort order for any folder. “As many of you know, Windows Phone users can have all the photos they take on their phones automatically sent to the SkyDrive camera roll folder. I have 1,411 photos in this folder, and it used to be a pain to get to the most recent photo. We now default to sorting by newest to oldest, which should make viewing your camera roll much better,” the blog post states.

The company has streamlined the photo upload path resulting in a faster bulk photo upload experience. SkyDrive for Windows desktop and OS X will also get an update over the course of the week. Based on feedback from users, SkyDrive has been made faster and more efficient for a couple of key scenarios. “We focused on photo uploads and looking for changes in your local SkyDrive folder. As with any performance discussion, “your mileage may vary,” as actual performance depends on a variety of factors including hardware, connection upload/ download speed, network congestion, content type, distance to the service data center, and other factors,” says the blog.

For developers, there would be no more restrictions on the types of files that the application uploads to SkyDrive. Uploading images in their full resolution is also allowed. The API now includes a SkyDrive File Picker for opening and saving files to SkyDrive, by adding a few lines of JavaScript to any website.