Making good on promises to make its SkyDrive cloud storage service ecumenical across clients, Microsoft has added a new Android app. It also updated user interface to mimic the “tiled” look of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. The company announced the SkyDrive facelift, which will take place over the next 24 hours, on its Windows Team blog.
Here’s how Chris Jones, VP of Microsoft’s Windows Live Group listed the new features:
- Skydrive.com — Modern design for desktop and tablet browsers with instant search, contextual toolbar, thumbnail multi-select, drag-and-drop organization, and HTML5 sorting
- SkyDrive for Windows desktop & OS X — Faster uploads for people around the world and tons of bug and performance improvements under the hood
- SkyDrive for Android — A new app that lets you access, upload and share from Android phones
- SkyDrive for developers –- Apps built using our SkyDrive API can now store or access any type of file in a person’s SkyDrive, plus there’s a new, easy-to-use file picker API for websites (similar to our file picker for Windows 8 apps)
Microsoft is pitching SkyDrive as a cloud for all devices to compete with iCloud and Google Drive. It released Windows Phone and iPhone apps last December. Apple’s iCloud doesn’t support non-iOS mobile devices, although some iCloud objects can be accessed from any device.
All of these tech powers hope they can lure users outside their current installed base with free or near-free cloud-based storage services, and then, perhaps hook them on other services or products.
As we’ve reported before, Microsoft is supporting non-Windows devices and clients with many of its cloud services, including its Azure platform-as-a-service. At the same time the company is yoking SkyDrive tightly to Office, Yammer, Skype and other products on its roster.