Microsoft Upgrades SkyDrive after Apple Announces iCloud

By Ed Silverstein June 22, 2011

Not wanting to be outdone by Apple’s recent announcement of iCloud, Microsoft has upgraded its SkyDrive service.

With the improvements, SkyDrive can operate quicker, navigates easier and now uses HTML5. SkyDrive also looks better and ads were taken off the main page. It will soon be available for use.

SkyDrive stores photos, documents and spreadsheets, according to The Seattle Times. The newspaper adds that this compares to iCloud, which stores music, calendar items and messages.

“SkyDrive has been around since 2007 and was simply not built for the modern web,” Omar Shahine, group program manager for, said in a recent blog post.

It’s not that SkyDrive was bypassed by users in its older form. More than 100 million people used SkyDrive on the web, Shahine said.

But Microsoft concluded that more needed to be done. For example, time spent on clicking folders and navigating photo albums will be decreased from 6-9 seconds to 100-300 milliseconds.

With HTML5, SkyDrive can also employ HTML5 Video and CSS3. More improvements are forthcoming.

“There are parts of the experience like creating a new album, uploading, renaming files, sharing, and editing permissions that are also scheduled to get a makeover soon,” Shahine said.

A recent review in PC World looks forward to seeing the planned improvements but welcomed some of those already put in place by Microsoft.

“It doesn't feel like a radical modernization of the service as it stood, but it does sport a bunch of improvements that are nicely done,” said PC World.

The review noted improvements for photo viewing in the upgraded SkyDrive.

“It has very nice support for photos, with cool thumbnails that are smart enough to handle odd-sized pictures such as panoramas well, infinite scrolling, and HTML5-based slideshows that are speedy and fun,” PC World added.

Apple’s iCloud was announced during the Worldwide Developers Conference held earlier this month, TechZone360 said.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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