Microsoft Updates SkyDrive, Faster, Better, With HTML5 Support

SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud hosting service, has been around since 2007. The service gives users access to 25 Gigabytes of free online storage, for file hosting, sharing and collaboration. While it has been a great service to store data online from the start, it felt slow at times especially when navigating folders or photo albums in a web browser.

Today Microsoft made the announcement that SkyDrive had been updated to full HTMl5 glory. What does it mean for SkyDrive users? The service is a lot faster and easier to navigate, provided that a HTML5 capable web browser is used to access the service.

Performance and speed has been optimized considerably. Core tasks like opening folders or navigating photo albums have been improved, with Microsoft citing reductions of 6 to 9 seconds for those tasks. SkyDrive is now making use of hardware accelerated graphics, provided that the web browser and video card support the feature. Microsoft furthermore removed "anything that slowed the experience down or got in the way of a fast, clean site".

The layout of SkyDrive has been optimized. It resembles the Windows Explorer layout of Windows 7 now, with menus on the side and top, and the folders and files in the center of the screen. Users should now be able to reach their destinations faster, be it files, folders or albums.

skydrive view

The photo viewer has been improved as well. It now utilizes HTML5 and displays in a clean and rich manner. Infinite scrolling has been added to eliminate page switching to see more photos.

photo viewer

Microsoft has added HTML5 video playback support of H.264 files to SkyDrive. The videos can have a size of up to 100 Megabytes.

Internet Explorer and Windows 7 users can utilize jumplists to pin Skydrive to the Windows 7 Taskbar for access to often used features and sections.

Here is a short video of the new SkyDrive demonstrating the new features and capabilities of the file hosting service.

You can check out SkyDrive at the official website. Everyone is free to join and will get the 25 Gigabytes of online space.

Windows users can use the Windows Live SkyDrive Explorer software to access SkyDrive directly from their desktop. (via HTML5 SkyDrive Now Available)

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Responses to Microsoft Updates SkyDrive, Faster, Better, With HTML5 Support

  1. Jasnz June 21, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    It's a great update, but as everyone seems to be mentioning, there's still work to be done. True Live Mesh integration would be good, the ability to resize the pictures viewed, zoom etc would be nice too. Some pictures don't seem to load fully in the viewer either.

    I am a little wary of using it as a backup for Photos, there's some horror stories about accounts being disabled with no reason given as to why, and when you ask them, they just send a message saying they're not able to inform you why.

    Still, as updates go, this is a pretty awesome first step.

  2. Michelle Rocha June 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    What a STUPID thing!!! Windows Live Mesh wont sync with Skydrive!!
    WTF Microsoft ?????

  3. Steve June 24, 2011 at 1:42 am #

    Like many others you are doing a public disservice when you say Skydrive provides 25 GB of storage. The whole story is that only 5 GB is available to Windows Live Mesh where you can store most file formats. More importantly, when the 25 GB of space is accessed through Windows Skydrive, you are restricted to Microsoft Office files only. So, that 25 GB is only useful for storing Office files and you are otherwise restricted to 5 GB of storage. Stated another way: when you access the service with Live Mesh, you can store most file formats but are restricted to 5 GB; when you access the service with Skydrive, you can access the whole 25 GB, but you are restricted to Office file formats only.

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