Big changes in store for SkyDrive (Update: Officially Launched)

Microsoft is reportedly preparing to launch a dedicated client for their SkyDrive cloud storage service, as well as unveiling paid options for users who need more storage. Unfortunately, these new features could be accompanied by some less positive changes for new users.

According to The Verge's unidentified source, the new SkyDrive for Windows app will be hosted at a new apps.live.com domain, and new storage options will be available in chunks of 20, 50, and 100 gigabytes of space. The new storage options will set you back $10, $25, and $50 per year, respectively. There'll also be some minor UI changes to the web client to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Now for the bad news. Starting this May, Microsoft is reportedly considering dropping the amount of free storage offered to new users from 25 GB to 7 GB. Anyone who signed up to the service before the changes took place would still be grandfathered in to the existing 25 GB plan. Just in case this turns out to be true, we'd suggest you go sign up for the service now, if you haven't already and if you ever plan on giving it a shot.

We'll see if these rumors turn out to be true very soon. The undisclosed source says that the new features will be unveiled by the Windows Live team at this week's The Next Web Conference, as part of a mysterious keynote this Saturday.

Update 11:55 EST Interestingly, the SkyDrive client appears to be available now. Microsoft hasn't announced anything, but we have tested and confirmed that a new client, which functions similar to DropBox's Windows client, can be downloaded from apps.live.com for both Windows and Mac, and that it appears to be fully functional. If you want it, grab it while you can, just in case Microsoft decides to pull it.

In addition, we have confirmed that the 7 GB storage limit is in effect as of now, along paid storage options, but still no word from Microsoft. The paid storage options are exactly as we reported above, and can be accessed by clicking 'manage storage' on your SkyDrive page.

 

Update: 12:07 EST

It's all official folks, head on over here to see the announcement. From Microsoft, here is what is available now:

 

  • SkyDrive for the Windows desktop (preview available now). View and manage your personal SkyDrive directly from Windows Explorer on Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista with this new preview app available in 106 languages worldwide.
  • Fetching files through SkyDrive.com. Easily access, browse, and stream files from a remote PC running the preview app to just about anywhere by simply fetching them via SkyDrive.com.
  • SkyDrive storage updates. A new, more flexible approach to personal cloud storage that allows power users to get additional paid storage as their needs grow.  
  • SkyDrive for other devices. We’ve updated the SkyDrive apps on Windows Phone and iOS devices, bringing better management features and sharing options to those devices. We’re also releasing a new preview client for Mac OS X Lion, letting you manage your SkyDrive right from the Finder.
  • 7GB free for all new SkyDrive users. We chose 7GB as it provides enough space for over 99% 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% 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.
  • Ability to upload large files – up to 2GB – and folders using SkyDrive for the Windows desktop or SkyDrive for OS X Lion.
  • Paid storage plans (+20GB, +50GB, +100GB) so that power users who need more storage can easily add more at competitive prices (US$10/year, US$25/year, US$50/year). Please note that paid-for storage requires the ability to pay by credit card (or via PayPal, in some markets) and a Windows Live ID that can be associated with that credit card or PayPal account.

We also want to point out that users who signed up for the service before the change should be able to reclaim their 25GB of storage by going to the manage storage page. Quite a nice little present, considering all the new capabilities!

[Update: 1:54 PM EST]

We asked Microsoft about the application for Android and this is what they had to say: "SkyDrive understands the importance of building apps for all major platforms." While not a confirmation, we fully expect an Android variant of SkyDrive to be pushed out in the near future. 

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Grandfathered to 25GB, desktop client running smooth. iPad app installed.

I guess now I can use SyncBack to copy things to the Skydrive folders and then let that do the uploading to Skydrive.

I now no longer need Mesh... or do I?

Oh - Thank you Microsoft you are full of win on this fine day.

I installed the Windows app (Windows 7), it created a SkyDrive folder under my profile, it populated the newly-created SkyDrive folder with all of the folders in SkyDrive, and then it appeared to start downloading all of my SkyDrive data onto my local hard drive.

Is this what is really happening during setup? I stopped the process and uninstalled the local SkyDrive app pending a better understanding of what is going on.

I think it's great to have the SkyDrive cloud folders accessible via Windows Explorer ... but I want all of the files to stay in the cloud. I don't want any of the files synced to my local system (like Live Mesh ... which I also use).

Some accounts I see the banner for upgrade to 25GB and others don't. I've never actually used SkyDrive before so does it mean you MUST'VE accessed it one way of another before today in order to get the free upgrade?

As I said here: http://www.twitter.com/warmth/status/194497609631666176
I really see no point in this app instead of giving Mesh full access to the 25 Gb, dups in 1 folder is the future? I have loved Mesh since the first beta because it added more to the awful DropBox vision of sharing all in one main folder. What's going to happen now to Mesh? It will be shut down? No words about the decisions of playing with a unexpected downgrade to 7 Gb to all the newer users and the old that are not aware of this changes.

Totally agree with you! Mesh is far superior than this new Sky Drive client. I also fear Mesh will be killed off, which would be a real shame! ...if they just allowed Mesh to access the whole 25G of Sky Drive, there would be no need for this new Sky Drive client!

Does anybody know how to change the Default Folder? I keep all my documents in a separate partition (D) but the app has created one under my account in C and it is downloading all my saved files in the new location.
TIA

Fritzly said,
Does anybody know how to change the Default Folder? I keep all my documents in a separate partition (D) but the app has created one under my account in C and it is downloading all my saved files in the new location.
TIA

While installing it asked you where to put the folder (there was a Change button). After installation I think you have to unlink the folder (via settings on skydrive icon in task bar), and then create/select a new one

Xenon said,
So this supposed to be a replacement for live mesh?

I agree.. it's pretty confusing now having two desktop clients - Mesh and Sky Drive - that essentially do the same! ...Mesh is far superior! ...if Microsoft only allowed Mesh to access the whole 25G of Sky Drive, they'd be on to a winner! ...but I fear that Mesh will be "phased out" by Microsoft, as there's no point having two clients!

Oh, and great video from Microsoft showing the mobile client with an iphone! Really, why did they bother with Windows Phone at all when they clearly dont want to use it internally?

efjay said,
Oh, and great video from Microsoft showing the mobile client with an iphone! Really, why did they bother with Windows Phone at all when they clearly dont want to use it internally?

They need to plug their own OS for sure. *sigh* Where's this vid with a Lumia eh?

efjay said,
Oh, and great video from Microsoft showing the mobile client with an iphone! Really, why did they bother with Windows Phone at all when they clearly dont want to use it internally?

They are tying to sell SkyDrive & Windows Live here, not Windows Phone. So they choose iPhone for their AD.

efjay said,
Oh, and great video from Microsoft showing the mobile client with an iphone! Really, why did they bother with Windows Phone at all when they clearly dont want to use it internally?

Eh? Windows Phone is in the promotional video too...

Looks awesome and works great. There's only one thins I don't really like, and that's the fact that now it started to download all 12GB of files that I have there.

Been dropped to 7GB even though I was using this pre-beta, don't see any banners about claiming the 25Gb back though

[edit]
I clicked on Manage Storage on the left hand side of the screen and get a page similar to Ices-Eyes image above which says I have 7GB of 7GB free (even though I am using 9GB on there) and underneath it has purchase options with Free 25GB listed but no button to press to claim it I have tried in 3 different browsers and all show the same, I do not have any ad blockers or anything running
[/edit]

Edited by BeLGaRaTh, Apr 23 2012, 4:30pm :

Wrt to your edit
I had no the option to go back to 25GB on my primary account, but it upgrade me when I used the link on the post before this. On the other hand, on two other accounts I use, there was the button to claim the 25GB on the manage storage page... I guess they still have some problems maybe

BeLGaRaTh said,
Been dropped to 7GB even though I was using this pre-beta, don't see any banners about claiming the 25Gb back though

[edit]
I clicked on Manage Storage on the left hand side of the screen and get a page similar to Ices-Eyes image above which says I have 7GB of 7GB free (even though I am using 9GB on there) and underneath it has purchase options with Free 25GB listed but no button to press to claim it I have tried in 3 different browsers and all show the same, I do not have any ad blockers or anything running
[/edit]

Should show up after a few tries, thats what happened to me.

Ices_Eyes said,
You can use this link posted a bit ago
https://skydrive.live.com/#!/ManageStorage?lu=1

It works if you were using skydrive before and are eligible for the 25Gb


efjay said,

Should show up after a few tries, thats what happened to me.

Thanks both for the information, I just sat here and refreshed the page over and over until it eventually had the option to upgrade Thanks again

Love the logic ... "Most of our customers use less than 7GB so this is all we will provide for free". Has it not occurred to Microsoft that the *reason* most SkyDrives stay empty and unused is because they do not have enough capacity for the user's documents, photos, music and video in the first place? Personally I am not prepared to bother using a service like this unless I can put everything on it. I don't have time to sift through it all manually choosing what to sync and what not to...

Timble said,
Love the logic ... "Most of our customers use less than 7GB so this is all we will provide for free". Has it not occurred to Microsoft that the *reason* most SkyDrives stay empty and unused is because they do not have enough capacity for the user's documents, photos, music and video in the first place? Personally I am not prepared to bother using a service like this unless I can put everything on it. I don't have time to sift through it all manually choosing what to sync and what not to...

Apparently they know something we don't know. Franky I hardly use mine at all. Not because of storage, just because I didn't like the client/service that much. I'll give a whirl now and see how it's improved.

Drossel said,
This is ridiculous. I don't have a problem with paying for something, but taking away 18 gigs from the old users is not nice.

You should read previous comments, you can reclaim back the full amount of 25GB by going to manage storage, just follow the link:

https://skydrive.live.com/#!/ManageStorage?lu=1

The same page also offers subscription plans should you need more than 25Gb

By going on skydrive.live.com there is a message that says that skydrive storage limit is changing and that I can "ask" for the 25GB that are up to me, with a link that send me to this page https://skydrive.live.com/ManageStorage.

Here a couple of images:
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/6294/skydrive1.png
http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/8562/skydrive2.png

The message on the first one says that the limit for the free skydrive is becoming 7GB, but as an already registred user I can maintain the 25GB limit if asked now.
The problem is that in the second page I cannot ask for that limit...

By the way, the new skydrive client works in a different way from the mesh one, so probably the mesh service will not be merged with skydrive... Or at least I hope that, it will be painfoul to have to put all the files in the same folder in order to have them synced...

Login to your current SkyDrive and re-claim your 25GB by clicking on the banner at the top of the page when viewing SkyDrive in the browser.

Yup.. when you install the client its 7GB. But then just right click on the Skydrive client in the system tray, navigate to Manage Storage and then on the page you can select upgrade to 25GB..

Actually we guys are just jumping so fast, its even faster than Microsoft rolling out. When I checked 2 mins back, I could have sworn that there was no option to choose 25GB or any other storage. It was just showing my used space out of 7GB. And now you have the option to upgrade.

7GB is my limit now too. But I tend to only use SkyDrive for small files.

I wonder what has happened to people that have more than 7GB used on there?

DonC said,
7GB is my limit now too. But I tend to only use SkyDrive for small files.

I wonder what has happened to people that have more than 7GB used on there?

These new plans are for new users. You have your 25GB.

I've had Skydrive since release too and I now only have 7GB of storage, this happened before I even installed the client.

Auroka said,
Wow seriously? I lost 18 gigs of space. Way to go Microsoft!
It really was too good to be true.

No, these new plans are for new users. You have your 25GB.

Tempus said,
I've had my SkyDrive for nearly 18 months and it is also now only 7GB so no grandfathering here.
Ditto here. I've been using SkyDrive since it came out and I'm now down to 7GB.

Tempus said,
I've had my SkyDrive for nearly 18 months and it is also now only 7GB so no grandfathering here.

read above people, you can claim free 25G

Tempus said,
I've had my SkyDrive for nearly 18 months and it is also now only 7GB so no grandfathering here.

It will say 7gb in Explorer, but 25gb on the website. Must be a bug.

Can verify what KayMan2k said - I've had a SkyDrive account since the beginning, checked the limit before installing the desktop client and it was 25GB, afterwards it's fallen to 7GB that's unfortunate...

Actually, if you right click on the SkyDrive icon and select Manage Storage, you will be presented with a limited time offer to upgrade to 25GB of synced storage for free!

At first even I was like WTF, 7GB only?! Then I found this!

Awesome! Thanks for the info about that The Dark Knight! Everyone else, be sure and check for this to make sure you don't lose any storage!

So the free ride is over and people might have to pay for a service - oh the horror! the horror I tells ya!

It'll be interesting to see how it integrates in with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
So the free ride is over and people might have to pay for a service - oh the horror! the horror I tells ya!

It'll be interesting to see how it integrates in with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.


It will always be free... you'll just need to pay if you want additional storage. Most people don't need the additional storage.

My SkyDrive upload limit is now 7GB. I had signed up for the SkyDrive account several weeks ago. I didn't notice what the limit was before... so either this has been in place for a while or is retroactive.

Actually, if you right click on the SkyDrive icon and select Manage Storage, you will be presented with a limited time offer to upgrade to 25GB of synced storage for free!

At first even I was like WTF, 7GB only?! Then I found this!

The Dark Knight said,
Actually, if you right click on the SkyDrive icon and select Manage Storage, you will be presented with a limited time offer to upgrade to 25GB of synced storage for free!

At first even I was like WTF, 7GB only?! Then I found this!

I've been a SkyDrive user since it came out, and I've had the 25GB free account. My SkyDrive account says now 7 GB on it. When I go to the "Manage Storage" page, the SkyDrive Free (25 GB total storage) plan is pre-selected adn there is no "Select" button. How are you guys toggling this? Any suggestion on what I should do?

See: http://i.imgur.com/GwHNd.png

Ryan Hoffman said,

I've been a SkyDrive user since it came out, and I've had the 25GB free account. My SkyDrive account says now 7 GB on it. When I go to the "Manage Storage" page, the SkyDrive Free (25 GB total storage) plan is pre-selected adn there is no "Select" button. How are you guys toggling this? Any suggestion on what I should do?

See: http://i.imgur.com/GwHNd.png

This is weird: I have used Skydrive since it was still in Beta (Mesh) and when I click "manage Store" I have the 25GB plan is pre-selected as well but above it shows that I have 25GB available.

Fritzly said,

This is weird: I have used Skydrive since it was still in Beta (Mesh) and when I click "manage Store" I have the 25GB plan is pre-selected as well but above it shows that I have 25GB available.

I just refreshed it, and now I have the option to upgrade. I'm back to 25gb. It must be still propagating to all users...

Doesn't Skydrive have a limit of 50MB? That's really inconvenient and hence the reason why I like my Dropbox better =)

WaveZero said,
Doesn't Skydrive have a limit of 50MB? That's really inconvenient and hence the reason why I like my Dropbox better =)

The web upload is 300MB I believe, client upload is unlimited.

WaveZero said,
Doesn't Skydrive have a limit of 50MB? That's really inconvenient and hence the reason why I like my Dropbox better =)

What are you talking about? SkyDrive's File size limit is now 2GB.

MASTER260 said,
Um... it already is hosted there...

https://apps.live.com/skydrive


This app is useless to me. I don't want a Skydrive folder to mirror what I have on the internet. I already have some of the files scattered on my PC in their dedicated folders. It's a huge waste of space. I need an app that will make Skydrive function like every other drive in my computer and allow me to transfer files as I like. Therefore I will keep using SkyDriveExplorer

wolftail said,

This app is useless to me. I don't want a Skydrive folder to mirror what I have on the internet. I already have some of the files scattered on my PC in their dedicated folders. It's a huge waste of space. I need an app that will make Skydrive function like every other drive in my computer and allow me to transfer files as I like. Therefore I will keep using SkyDriveExplorer

Meh, personally I use Gladinet Cloud Desktop, as its like that, except it supports MANY more different types of cloud storage than just SkyDrive. I actually took advantage of its Box.net support to think this up: http://tabbles.net/blog/forums...mple-way-to-like-w-tabbles/ Unfortunately, it doesn't work anymore, since Box.net's FB App, (which was the apps.facebook.com/files link,) is gone, but, whatever...

EDIT: Huh, apparently any of the times I typed \ on the Tabbles forum doesn't show up anymore... weird...

wolftail said,

This app is useless to me. I don't want a Skydrive folder to mirror what I have on the internet. I already have some of the files scattered on my PC in their dedicated folders. It's a huge waste of space. I need an app that will make Skydrive function like every other drive in my computer and allow me to transfer files as I like. Therefore I will keep using SkyDriveExplorer

Not to be picky, but you don't even need SkyDriveExplorer. SkyDrive is accessible via WebDAV, and you can directly 'mount' your SkyDrive as a 'Drive' via Windows Explorer, Mac Finder, etc...

Additionally, you can treat the 'folder' like a Drive on your computer, and with Windows there are numerous ways to redirect and put whatever you want in the SkyDrive folder.

I always find it strange that in 2012, people still make a fuss or distinction between a 'folder' and a 'volume' and a 'drive'.

Seriously, they are just 'user level' organizational concepts, and have been for over 15 years, as there is no difference in making a separate 'folder' for content and making a separate 'volume/drive' for content as far as the user is concerned.

(The only valid argument would be a dedicated Volume to ensure the 'placement' on the hard drive that is physically separate, and in 2012, and Windows 7, there is NO reason you have to worry about something like this.)

When I see users with several virtual partitions/volumes, with various content 'scattered' in these, it is like going back to the 1980s when there was a reason to make a distinction between 'folders' and 'volumes'.

Well, the good reason is that when I need to format for some reasons, I can just delete volumes/partirion/drives I select, without any loss of important data, i.e.