25 Apr 2012

This week Microsoft updated its SkyDrive cloud-based storage system, but with a catch.  Microsoft has reduced the allotted storage from 25GB free to only 7GB.  If you are one of the 100 million or so existing SkyDrive users, just go to the SkyDrive website and log in and you can claim your free 25 GB.  If you already have more than 7GB of storage in use, you will automatically get the 25GB upgrade with no action needed.  You can opt-in for the free space as long as you signed up for SkyDrive prior to April 22, 2012.

Claiming the free space will be useful for the integration in Windows 8.  It never hurts to have the extra space and for the price of free, why not, right?

And now Microsoft is offering customers the option to buy extra space.  20GB will set you back $10 per year.  Compare this to Google where you will pay $2.49 per month for 25GB (around $30 per year) and with Apple at $40 per year.

Microsoft justified this change in storage space on a blog post: 

"We chose 7GB as it provides enough space for over 99 percent of people to store
their entire Office document library and share photos for several years, along with
room for growth. To put things in perspective, 99.94 percent of SkyDrive customers
today use 7GB or less – and 7GB is enough for over 20,000 Office documents or
7,000 photos. Since the current base of customers using SkyDrive tilts towards
enthusiasts, we are confident that, as we expand the range of people using SkyDrive,
this 7GB free limit will prove to be more than enough for even more people."

Microsoft has also released new applications for Windows 7 and a preview client for Mac OS X Lion.  Previously, Microsoft released an iOS application and there are programs to utilize SkyDrive on Android such as Browser for SkyDrive, Cloud Explorer For Skydrive and others.

Unlike Windows Live Mesh, which limited users to only 5GB of free space, the new SkyDrive Windows desktop application will support the full 25GB if you claim it.

Source:  blogs.msdn.com

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