Microsoft details Windows Phone Mango SkyDrive improvements

By Tom Warren, on 7th Jun 11 4:03 pm with 47 Comments

Microsoft has detailed its Windows Phone Mango improvements for SkyDrive on Tuesday.

The software giant describes SkyDrive and Windows Phone Mango as the “deepest connection to cloud storage available on a smartphone” following on from Apple’s iCloud and iOS 5 announcements earlier this week. “Windows Phone was actually designed for the cloud from the ground up with SkyDrive,” says Microsoft’s Mike Torres. “The experiences you use every day from your phone have a natural connection to your SkyDrive.”

“We think this type of thoughtful and deep integration of cloud services and devices is what customers want,” said Torres. Windows Phone customers appear to agree, Microsoft says that Windows Phone 7 users already upload 10 times as many photos per month (about 120 photos per month) to SkyDrive than typical users. Microsoft is making a number of improvements available in Windows Phone Mango for SkyDrive users:

  • Share photos stored on SkyDrive via email, text or IM – SkyDrive lets you store thousands of pictures in the cloud. You can show them off to friends on your phone in the Pictures hub, and now you can share SkyDrive photos with anyone over email, text, or Messenger / Facebook.

SkyDrive share photos

  • Share your video on SkyDrive – With Mango, all the goodness you had with photos has been extended to videos. Once you’re finished shooting your video, you can caption it and share immediately on SkyDrive, and the upload will happen in the background while you move on to other things.
  • Browse your documents stored on SkyDrive – Windows Phone lets you view folders and files directly on your phone, so when you group things on SkyDrive, you know they’ll be available with the same folder structure on your phone.
  • See what’s been shared with you – More than 70% of the folders created on SkyDrive are shared with other people, which makes it all the more important to see everything shared with you on your phone. This pivot view will show you the complete list of documents shared with you, letting you open and edit in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Search your SkyDrive documents – If you store a lot of stuff on SkyDrive, being able to do a quick search is important. In the Office hub, you can easily search across your SkyDrive for the document you need without having to wade through your folders and other files.

Windows Phone Mango SkyDrive improvements

Microsoft is also refreshing the SkyDrive web site with a HTML5 look. WinRumors got an exclusive hands on look at the updated look last month. The software giant is likely to introduce the new interface as early as this month. SkyDrive offers 25GB of free personal storage in Microsoft’s Cloud. The online service is fully integrated with Microsoft’s Windows Live ID authentication system and allows users to share and edit documents online. Check-out some of the Windows Phone Mango SkyDrive improvements in our hands on video below.

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  • Thom McKiernan

    I’m glad that they have come out from behind the bushes to give us some news but it’s missing the big feature that iTunes + iCloud is offering and that’s MUSIC (not to mention video).

    Why should I buy a Zune pass when I already have a great collection of music on my hard disk? It wouldn’t be so bad if I could store it all on my #WP7 but that is stuck at 8GB capacity.
    Storing in my SkyDrive and streaming to my phone (like Spotify) would be a much better option without forcing me to subscribe to anything

    • Guest

      “Will we have to wait for Windows 8 in 2012 to get improvements elsewhere?”

      Of course. This is MS we’re talking about. It’s not one company. It’s a set of disconnected and often warring feifdoms     

    • Lex

      Dont forget that Apple charges you $25/y to store ‘your’ music on iCloud – its only iTunes purchases that are free. Also there is no streaming off iCloud – you have to push downloads down to each device.

      $15/m for unlimited music with streaming isnt so bad…

    • GP007

      I expect you’ll be able to do something like that with music as well, we just have to wait for them to give us more information.  They’re still holding out on quite a few things.  The above info is stuff we more or less expected with Mango.

    • BucksterMcgee

      “Why should I buy a Zune pass when I already have a great collection of music on my hard disk?”

      Did music suddenly stop being made? Zune Pass is still by far the best way to discover, aquire, and love new music.

      As for that collection on your hard disk, there’s probably a good chance that’s it’s on Zune Pass, so why sync it anywhere when Microsoft will stream it too you as much as you want. Hell besides Windows Phone, Xbox, and the Zune devices, all you need is a computer with a web browser and you can stream as much music as you want, from songs you already have (but not with you) to songs that you never heard before.

      Smart DJ allows you to create on the fly mixed playlists of music you have locally and that you even have based on the music you like. If you find a new artist, album, or song you like, in a click you can download that music locally for when you’re away from a streaming internet source, while the songs still play I might add. Then every month you can turn 10 new songs into permanent MP3s that you can do whatever you like with, even if you cancel your service. So that great collection you have on your HDD gets even better, with new music that you wouldn’t have found before.

      With Apple you pay to have that music you already own put in the cloud so you can download them one by one to your device filling it up, until you remove them. As best as I can tell, it’s not actual streaming, you have to complete the download to play the file, whereas with Zune you can stream or download. Then to discover new music, aka all the stuff you’re missing out on, you have to pay individually for everything you want to try out.

      With Zune you could listen to 1000s of new songs, like them or not, and never pay anymore. I can’t begin to explain how many new artists, albums, and songs I’ve found and fell in love with using Zune Pass. Song that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. And for all those songs I wasn’t sure about, well they had their time, but they are gone, and I didn’t end up having to pay extra for them. For things like Shazam and the upcoming Bing Audio, I hear a song I like, tag it and in a few seconds I have it streaming to me for no additional cost. I could listen to it all I want, or not, I could download it for offline listening seamlessly, and if I really like it I can add it into a permanent MP3.

      Frankly I don’t see a reason to copy the old outdate idea of a large music collection anywhere. Oh, and my Windows Phone has 40GBs of space, I’ve tried to fill it up with movies and music and as much crap as I can, and I can’t even get halfway, not that it matters because I just end up streaming everything anyway. Outdate models are outdated.

      The biggest downfall of Zune is it’s internation reach, which doesn’t matter for me in the US, but has been a thorn in plenty of people. From what I understand that is being improved greatly come this fall with Mango, etc, but it’s the biggest limiter I can see with the system.

    • Anonymous

      I just want to add a couple of devices you can use your Zune Pass DRM music on.
      I can transferee music to my Sony Walkman X, I have to hock it up to my computer once a month to update the DRM.
      I can stream Zune Pass DRM music to my surround receiver using DLNA.
      I have also read about people playing Zune Pass DRM music on their Android Devices.
      So there is different options when you use Zune Pass.
      Zune Pass is not for everybody, but if you listen to a lot of music and like to explore new music and artists, it is a winner.

    • justsaying

      If you have download limits then streaming a song everytime you want to play it is kind of not an option.

    • justsaying

      If you have download limits then streaming a song everytime you want to play it is kind of not an option.

    • Johannespreekt

      What you ask is and yes it surprises me that microsoft doesn’t come up with it, but that you need 3party software for it! Why paying for music and movies that you have already on your pc!

  • doctorwhofan98

    This month?! Nice!

  • Brent

    And once again, Apple makes a big splash in an area MS has been pioneering but not marketing well, forcing MS to respond and look like they’re the laggard. 

    Rinse, repeat.

    Why didn’t the team advertise this information ahead of time? They’ve had months to know iCloud was coming. MS marketing = Epic fail.

    • Ef Jay

      Yep, they should have made more of this when they had the Mango preview event, instead we had Mr Roboto Andy Lees’s dry presentation. Watch now as the isheep claim their device was the first to have a hardware camera button that wakes up the phone!

    • Diego3336

      Microsoft was under supervision of DOJ’s anti-trust watchdogs until May 12 and Apple wasn’t. This fact makes a huge difference when you plan to do some integration services. Now MS is free to integrate anything they want and we can see they are doing that.

    • Guest

      That excuse is getting old. One, they’re still bound by the agreement they signed with the justice department. Two, they’re still under direct sanctions in Europe. Three, this has nothing to do with either. The products existed. They weren’t banned by antitrust oversight. Just because they had to be downloaded seperately due to DOJ issues, doesn’t mean they couldn’t have been exposed intuitively, like as an easily mounted drive.

      This is all about poor MS execution and even worse marketing. They wasted time fighting between Sync, Mesh and Skydrive. Throughly confused customers on which did what. Refused to listen to customers who wanted one service with the best aspects of each. Didn’t expose them in an easy and intuitive fashion. And didn’t market them worth shit, as usual.

    • Mosquito
    • Anonymous

      you know what else is getting old?! your stupid comments!

    • Anonymous

      Excuse.  And even if it were valid in this case they would have had from May 12 to June 6 to upstage Apple. 

  • Thomas

    What about editing documents and syncing them back to skydrive?

    • GP007

      It should do that automatically like it does with OneNote right now.  

    • GP007

      It should do that automatically like it does with OneNote right now.  

    • Anonymous

      You can do that now.

  • Kirill Petrovsky

    Let me guess – video uploading will be limited to those stupid 50 MB.

    • GP007

      Uploading large videos over wifi is one thing but what about 3G?  Would you rahter there isn’t a limit and find yourself smacked with a data bill because you uploaded a large video over 3G or in the future 4G without knowing? 

      I understand why you wouldn’t want a limit but then are you going to video tape a whole movie or something? 

    • Johannespreekt

      Last March I was on a snowboarding trip with my friends and I had my photo cam mounted on my helmet and shot some nice 720p movies. After the holidays I would like to share them with all my friends that joined me on the trip, putting the photo’s and movies on skydrive isn’t possible because you aren’t allowed to put 4 minute 700mb movies on skydrive!!! So you tell me what possibility microsoft gives you to share 700 mb files or bigger with your friends? At one point in time they had shared maps within Live messenger and that whould syc the maps with your friends and even when it couldn’t finish this session it could go further the next time everyone was online!

      And that has nothing to do with 3G, I am talking about sharing between desktop pc’s with 800KB/s connections!

    • Calum

      Some of us in England don’t have limits on how much data we can use with our mobile phone, so an option would certainly be nice :)

    • Steve

      Don’t we all have limits in the UK? As far as I know they’re all 100/500mb/1gb

    • CandidCalum

      No :) With my Orange plan, I have 600 minutes, unlimited texts, and unlimited data. I pay £35 a month for that.

  • Chris Leadley

    They say “Windows Phone was actually designed for the cloud from the ground up with SkyDrive” well why wasn’t it implemented from the ground up as well? I like that it syncs my pictures but it would be more useful to be able to sync the documents that i have stored on there, i’m glad its going to be here soon though.

    • Aaron

      No kidding.  I thought I was being an idiot and missing something obvious when I couldn’t find my skydrive documents on my WP7 or find my WP7 docs on my skydrive.  I finally realized they had not implemented it yet.  Basically made Office on WP7 useless.  I’m glad they will be adding the integration with Mango.

    • Anonymous

      What are you talking about…I currently sync my Office 2010 docs with my Samsung Focus just fine. Anytime a new doc is added, all I need do is refresh the folder on the phone.

    • Chris Leadley

      Is that through sharepoint part of the office hub? On mine (omnia 7) Skydrive doesn’t sync the documents, i can download them and edit from there but it won’t sync them back. Sharepoint does this fine but it only works in 2010 (which is also a pain).

  • Abhimanyu Jamwal

    epic fail by Microsoft PR team. It is redicolus to see tech guys all over the world say this is innovative, revolutionary and game changer..I mean what not, zdnet even has an article how this could mean the end of windows and linux and how apple is the new pioneer in cloud technology. Well its honestly very sad and diheartening to know that you had this “skydrive” clone getting all the news when you are using skydrive on the phone since launch and yet noone at microsoft bothered to inform this to the world. icloud now is the compitior to google docs when skydrive with over 100 million active users is the leader, and yet no one knows about it. it is not even mentions anywhere. I guess these are now the “perks” of owning or using a Microsoft service or product

    • Fludlyt

      Agreed although I’m happy with how the tech blogs are reporting iOS5 news because it should lead Microsoft to market their features/services better in the future. My hope is for Microsoft to 1. Get their marketing team in order (like the team behind Xbox/Kinect) & 2. Work on their timing.

    • Guest

      Yeah, Xbox is the only team in MS who has any marketing savvy whatsoever.

    • Guest

      Yeah, Xbox is the only team in MS who has any marketing savvy whatsoever.

  • mike g

    what about video MMS or uploading videos to 3rd party services such as Facebook?

  • The Black Mamba

         I really cannot wait for Mango with a new Nokia hardware. After the preview of IOS.5, I can confirm that windows phone OS is the best mobile operation when it comes to integrated experience, search with the new features such as local + scout.
     What makes the OS so cool is the fluidity of the OS. I mean windows phone OS is so fast. We just need better hardware to take advantage of what the OS offers. And with new Mango features getting into light, there is a lot to be excited about.

  • Reader

    Microsoft is still in business?? 

    Who knew.

    • Jim

      Yeah, to the tune of about $5.48 Billion in sales PER MONTH, and $1.74 Billion of that being profit.

  • Svennelito
  • reality check

    Winmob 6.5, Zune, Kin. Zero market traction for Winmob 7.Anyone see a pattern here? 

    Think I’ll invest in an ecosystem that actually exists and has continuity. RIM, Android or Apple for example.

    Plus hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from. 

    Maybe in 5 years MS can make a comeback like IBM. It’s possible since even stodgy IBM surpassed their market cap recently. Although that took 20+ years after the last major technology shift. Until then I’ll park my money in a mobile winner instead of a mobile loser where it’s money down the drain. 

    Like all those billions MS invested in cloud datacenters. And no one showed up. When the stock falls to it’s real value of about $10 it might be a good time to buy. Shouldn’t take longer than 12 -18 months I would guess.

    • Guest

      you have no clue, cloud will be a big business for MS, just that the money will come from business rather than consumer, their earnings aren’t going to fall off a cliff, $10 would give them a PE of something like 4 – please contribute to the converstation and don’t throw up bile onto the screen

    • Steve

      Plus hundreds of thousands of SHIT and WORTHLESS apps to choose from

  • Tech Support

    I have been using Android and Apple Phones lately and comparing to them..Windows 7 Phone are good but not better than Android…Well Surely what excites people more is Windows 8 how would that work….will it be more interesting or just another Microsoft Thing…