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Microsoft Introduces HTML5-Based SkyDrive

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Microsoft Live SkyDrive

Online storage is a massively expanding area at the moment with all the big players offering their versions ofstorage in the cloud. Microsoft’s SkyDrive has been around for a number of years now and the Redmond-based company has just given it a bit of a facelift.

The service has been used by up to 100 million people worldwide but Microsoft wanted to take advantage of the latest software in order to make using it a better experience: “We took advantage of modern browsers and HTML5 to make SkyDrive faster, easier to navigate, and more beautiful for viewing photos,” said Omar Shahine, Group Program Manager with SkyDrive. For example, clicking folders and navigating photo albums could have taken up to nine seconds previously but will now happen in 100-300 milliseconds. Microsoft also took advantage of hardware accelerated graphics to make it fast to click through photo slideshows. The whole photo interface has been radically redesigned with the new mosaic layout displaying your pictures in a way that lets you see all your photos in their original aspect ratio. Using CSS3 Transitions, SkyDrive will also rearrange you photos dynamically into a square whenever the browser is resized.

                SkyDrive HTML5

In response to user feedback that the layout of various sections was confusing and users found it hard to navigate, Microsoft has also introduced SkyDrive groups. Groups will provide a single place to see your photos, documents, files and files shared with you. The overall aesthetic of the user interface has also been cleaned up with ads being removed and replaced with a pane of info about your files, so you can do things like open a document in Word or Excel on the desktop, directly from SkyDrive. If you are using Internet Explorer 9 you will be able to access SkyDrive from the taskbar using Pinned Sites and Jump Lists. Microsoft added that it was planning on overhauling other aspects of the SkyDrive system soon including creating a new album, uploading, renaming files, sharing, and editing permissions.

The new-look SkyDrive is due to roll out globally soon and will continue to offer 25GB of storage for free with a maximum file size of 100MB.

Source: Windows Team Blog

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