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Monday, April 23, 2012
Skydrive Apps Updated, Bring More Storage, Functions

Microsoft has updated its SkyDrive personal cloud storage service with new apps that connect your devices to SkyDrive, and a more powerful device cloud that lets you "fetch" any file from a Windows PC.

Microsoft today released a preview of SkyDrive for the Windows desktop (Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista) that supports what the company calls "fetch" - the ability to remotely access files or stream videos from a connected PC. By inegrating SkyDrive with Windows you can now drag-and-drop to and from SkyDrive with files up to 2GB, access all of your files offline, and have the full power of Windows Explorer available to manage your SkyDrive files and folders. Once your SkyDrive is available on your PC, a special folder stays in sync with your SkyDrive.

With SkyDrive running on a Windows PC, you can also turn that PC into your own private cloud to browse your files and stream videos from anywhere through SkyDrive.com. This feature is useful if you forgot something on your home PC and need to fetch it or just copy it quickly to SkyDrive. Note that, in order to access a remote PC you will have to provide a second factor of authentication beyond your account password. You'll need to enter a code that we send to your mobile phone or alternate email address even if you're already signed in to your SkyDrive account.

Starting today, Microsoft is also offering 7GB free for all new SkyDrive users along with the ability to upload large files - up to 2GB - and folders using SkyDrive for the Windows desktop or SkyDrive for OS X Lion. For those needing more storage, Microsoft is also offering paid storage plans (+20GB - US$10/year, +50GB - US$25/year, +100GB - US$50/year). Note that paid-for storage requires the ability to pay by credit card (or via PayPal) and a Windows Live ID that can be associated with that credit card or PayPal account.

If you have already signed up for a service that offered 25GB and have also uploaded more than 4GB to SkyDrive so far, Microsoft says you can opt in to keep 25GB of free storage while still getting all of the benefits of the new service.

The new SkyDrive for Windows phones has also been updated to allow you to delete, rename, and move files in yourr SkyDrive, and access a full set of sharing options for all files and folders. Microsoft is also bringing SkyDrive to the iPad, with all the same capabilities already available through the iPhone, plus support for the new iPad retina display.

Here's where you go to try SkyDrive today: If you currently use Mesh, we have a few tips for trying SkyDrive for Windows or Mac (preview) side-by-side with Mesh.

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