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Microsoft redesigns Skydrive and announces an Android app

Needs Android users
Wed Aug 15 2012, 13:40

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has redesigned its Skydrive cloud storage service to complement its recently launched webmail service.

Microsoft's Skydrive service has been competing with Google Drive and Dropbox, but hasn't been able to break through on mobile devices, thanks in part to the lack of a native Android client. Now the company has revamped Skydrive, not only giving it a new lick of paint but taken Skydrive desktop apps out of preview and announced an app for Android smartphones.

According to Microsoft, the redesign is new and modern, but in reality it is a carbon copy of the design seen on its Outlook webmail service. The firm has also integrated searching for file names and the contents of Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint files stored on the service.

Microsoft claims to have improved the speed of Windows desktop clients using Skydrive and said it uses significantly less CPU time. While Microsoft's focus on CPU cycles is commendable, the big announcement was that it intends to launch a native Skydrive app for Android in a few weeks.

So far Android Skydrive users have had to make do with the web interface to interact with the service, which has been far from ideal. Microsoft showed off a couple of preview screenshots of its Android Skydrive app, including the ability to browse pictures.

Microsoft also removed restrictions for developers on the types of files that third party applications can upload to Skydrive. The firm also said images can now be uploaded in their native resolution.

Microsoft will be hoping its Skydrive redesign and upcoming Android app will make a dent in the popularity of Google Drive and Dropbox on devices that don't run its operating systems. Of course whether users will want to trust Microsoft with their files will also have something to do with it. µ


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