Windows Live SkyDrive Cloud Service Relaunched, HTML5 Optimized

Microsoft windows live logo Microsoft relaunched Windows Live SkyDrive, incorporating HTML5 and taking advantage of recent browser advances to provide a much-improved experience for accessing and sharing Microsoft Office documents, photos and more in the cloud.

SkyDrive is your storage place in the cloud. Upload your files and photos so you can access them from anywhere, and share them to collaborate with others. Windows Live SkyDrive provides enough free storage for thousands of documents and photos, has powerful permissions settings, and offers Microsoft Office Web Apps that you can access online.

Primary strengths of SkyDrive include the sharing of Office documents in the cloud, access and sharing of photos across devices, particularly with Windows Phone, and the fact the service is free.

The refreshed experience has broad application, as SkyDrive has emerged as a single service for access and sharing across Windows, Office and smartphones including Windows Phone, iPhone and Android.

To date, SkyDrive has helped more than 100 million users store and share their files on the Web. The relaunch aims to make the experience more enjoyable and efficient in the following ways

Windows Live SkyDrive Allows you to

  • [advt]Upload and share photos online: Use Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Movie Maker to edit, organize, and share your photos and videos, and upload them to SkyDrive.
  • Share in email and on social networks: Upload and share documents and photos with the people you choose—groups of people or your entire social network. Share files in email, or send links to the files and photos you store online.
  • Work with Office docs online: Create, edit, view, and share files online. With Office Web Apps, you don’t need to have Microsoft Office to create Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files online.

Key Features

  • Faster: The time it takes to perform common tasks such as clicking on folders and navigating photo albums will drop from 6-9 seconds down to 100-300 milliseconds. The new SkyDrive takes advantage of hardware accelerated graphics and advancements including HTML5 video tag to support playback of H.264 videos (with support for files of up to 100 MB). And with IE9 on Windows 7, customers can pin SkyDrive to their taskbar for even faster access to the files they want.
  • Easier to Navigate: The new SkyDrive brings together all photos, docs, and files into one view. Navigational elements and layout are now consistent with Windows, so customers will find the site familiar and easy to use.
  • Photos Take Center Stage: The new SkyDrive removes previous design elements so photos now fill the browser. Also, photos are presented in their original aspect ratio, and with the new best-fit grid, pictures are laid out so users can see them all, including panoramas.


SkyDrive for the Modern Web, Built Using HTML5

  • Photo Albums: When you view your photos in the new SkyDrive, you get a clean, rich view of your pictures that fills the browser and is more fluid than ever before.
  • SkyDrive Summary Tiles: One principle in designing the new site is that SkyDrive should be focused on putting your content front and center. The new SkyDrive cuts the clutter and presents a clean, simple view of all your documents and photos.
  • IE9 Jump List: For those using Internet Explorer 9, a fast way to get to SkyDrive from your Windows Taskbar is by using Pinned Sites and Jump Lists. They give you even faster access to your SkyDrive and quick access to common tasks like creating Office documents.
  • SkyDrive Summary and Info Pane: The navigational elements and layout of the new SkyDrive are consistent with Windows, which means: a) 1 billion Windows customers will find the site familiar and easy to use, and b) SkyDrive now fills the page, using as much of the screen as you allow to showcase your content. Getting to your stuff is more predictable and consistent with how you already work.
  • Photo Mosaic: When you select an album, you can now view all of your photos in their original aspect ratio, in the way you took your pictures. Your content will no longer be cropped to fit the page in a certain layout. SkyDrive’s new best-fit grid was designed to beautifully display your pictures, including your panoramas, so you can see everything.

Device Access

Microsoft announced deeper integration between SkyDrive and Windows Phone on June 7. With the release of Windows Phone “Mango” later this year, users will be able to share photos stored on SkyDrive via email, text, or IM. They will also be able to share videos immediately after shooting them, with the upload happening in the background.

Windows Phone brings instant access to docs in the Office hub so users can view folders and files directly on their phone.

In addition, SkyDrive will continue to offer a mobile Web app at that works with iPhone, Android and other modern smartphones for viewing and accessing Office docs and other files. Also, the OneNote app for the iPhone brings access to notes stored on SkyDrive from anywhere.

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