New version of Windows Live SkyDrive with HTML5 now available

By Tom Warren, on 20th Jun 11 9:18 pm with 58 Comments

Microsoft launched a new version of SkyDrive on Monday.

The software giant unveiled the new version in a blog post on Monday. SkyDrive is now built to take advantage of modern browsers and HTML5. WinRumors got an exclusive look at SkyDrive last month but the company is now rolling out the features out to its 100 million users.

It’s Faster.

  • Caching and hardware acceleration – Common tasks and scenarios, like clicking on folders and navigating photo albums will go from 6-9 seconds down to 100-300 milliseconds. Microsoft has taken advantage of hardware accelerated graphics to make it fast to skip through slideshows.
  • Support for HTML5 video tag – Playback H.264 videos (with support for files of up to 100MB).
  • Pin SkyDrive to your taskbar – With Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7, you can pin SkyDrive to your taskbar for even faster access to the files you want. Create Word, Excel or PowerPoint docs stored in the cloud in just one click.

Is Easier to Navigate.

  • All your content in one place including SkyDrive groups - Microsoft has combined all your photos, docs, files shared with you and files in SkyDrive groups into one view. The software giant took elements of the common file system you’re used to on Windows and Mac OS so navigating SkyDrive is more intuitive.
  • Quick views – Microsoft incorporated navigational elements and a layout that is consistent with Hotmail (Quick Views for recent docs & files shared with you).
  • Information pane - Ads have been removed to create room for a pane of information about your files – so you can take actions such as opening a doc in Word or Excel on the desktop directly from SkyDrive.

Photos are More Beautiful.

  • Mosaic layout – Microsoft has removed the chrome out of the way to let your photos fill the browser. SkyDrive creates thumbnails that reflect the original aspect ratio of your picture. Portraits, landscapes and panoramas can retain their personality even in thumbnail mode.
  • Clean arrangement – Regardless of what size screen you have, how big your browser window is, or how many photos you have, SkyDrive always arranges your photos into a perfect, clean square. In achieving this, we use CSS3 Transitions to add life to your photo album by animating thumbnail rearranging when you resize the browser window.
  • Living, breathing presentation – When viewing your albums, SkyDrive pulses through your thumbnails, letting you experience the contents of an album even before diving in.
  • Infinite scrolling – Microsoft no longer have pages in the photo viewing experience; you just scroll the page and quickly see your photos fill in. It looks and feels like a native application.

  • http://profiles.google.com/fordsont03 Eric Hadri

    Microsoft is really showing how much it wants to get ahead of the others. Good work, its perfect.

  • C_3PO

    Cool, I’m a big fan of SkyDrive and this just adds icing tot he cake!

  • Frylockns86

    Cool, now how long till we see this update?

    • A Fan

      It’s already up by default, isn’t it?  I don’t see anything that says it’s a beta preview in the article.

    • Frylockns86

      I still have the old layout.

    • http://twitter.com/IanMitchel1 Ian Mitchell

      I don’t have it on mine yet

    • Frylockns86

      NM. Got it! :)

  • The Black Mamba

    Welcome back Microsoft,

  • http://www.twitter.com/wixostrix WixosTrix

    SkyDrive is really coming along to be the best service in this consumerization of cloud computing.  They’re getting SkyDrive geared up, getting it on Windows Phone and Xbox Live, once Windows 8 hits, all many people will have to do is connect to the Wi-Fi/network, sign-in to their Windows Live and their new computer or tablet is ready to go to.  This could give them THE best out of the box experience.

    • A Fan

      Absolutely. I saw all this coming and that’s why I chose WP7 for my smartphone even though not everything was ready earlier this year.

    • http://www.twitter.com/wixostrix WixosTrix

      Same here. I’ve always believed in Microsoft’s 3 screen vision and it’s finally becoming a reality, I’m very excited about it. I’ve even pretty much switched from Gmail to Hotmail. I just love the integration.
      > Subject: [winrumors] Re: New version of Windows Live SkyDrive with HTML5 rolling out

  • Anonymous

    When is this available?  This looks really good.

  • Anonymous

    still old one on mine.

  • C Brown

    Love the work, but isn’t it a little weird that the demo uses firefox and chrome but not IE9 ?

    • Guest

      The first part is IE9. They only switch to FF and Chrome to show that it supports other browsers.

    • Anonymous

      well… they showed how nice it is pinned to the taskbar and then he showed how you can access in 1 click to your files since in the pinned icon you have all that stuff like an app. of course they needed to split demo and show stuff like transitions because IE9 currently doesn’t support it, something i really dont care, but its a nice fluid feature firefox will display. about chrome it was just to show it would work video… but it can be done in IE9 with mp4, with wmv it just used silverlight in my case.

      you know if you show it can work in the 3 big browsers people will start using it. the only thing IE9 cant be done of what they showed was the transition thing.

  • C Brown

    Love the work, but isn’t it a little weird that the demo uses firefox and chrome but not IE9 ?

    • Test1ngi23

      I guess to emphasize that’s is 100% cross-browser compatible.

    • http://ahylianhuman.me Rod Davis

      Actually it does use IE9. The first thing he clicked on was an IE9 Pinned Site.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JohnBiancato John Biancato

    LMAO “SkyDrive from Redmond, WA. We know clouds.”

  • MikeByke

    Update supposedly goes live today (ala: http://www.winsupersite.com/article/Windows-Phone-7/skydrive-june-2011-update-139530)

  • http://about.me/abhinavk Abhinav Kumar

    It’s up for me.

  • The Black Mamba

    Already up and running.The performance improvement is noticeable. and no Ad is actually a plus.

    • http://profiles.google.com/matthew.weihl Matthew Weihl

      I hope this is a transition to ad-free Windows Live services, but I doubt it.

    • The Black Mamba

      I would hope so as well even thought I already paid the $19 a year subscription not to have ad and larger memory for email and anything related to hotmail. I am just hoping that we will have better windows integration with the next version of windows. 

  • Alberto Zaragoza Comendador

    I’m already invested in Google Docs and making a transition would be too much of a mess. But I like the way photos are handled – in Gdocs they’re just “images” and the only way to view them properly is downloading them.

    Still, only 100MB videos. I can’t wait for the day these services allow unlimited video, that would be incredible.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like it is switching over right now.  Mine just switched to the new layout and it is much better.

    …now they just need to add a Cloud Player ;)

  • The Black Mamba

    It’s already up and rolling. And it is scary fast. Even on firefox…lol.

  • http://www.about.me/AngeloGopaul Eingoluq

    Holy crap this looks awsome. I was expecting much less…damn!

    • http://www.flavors.me/fludlyt Fludlyt

      It looks fantastic, well organised and fast but yes they really do need to integrate mesh folders or update Live Mesh to integrate into explorer.

    • Steve Swanson

      SkyDrive is great but it REALLY needs to be integrated with MESH.  I have been struggling to get a location set up where 3 of us can collaborate on a set of documents.  SkyDrive works but MESH can’t synchronize with my PC from SkyDrive!!  PITA!  Open to suggestions.

      Steve

    • Steve Swanson

      SkyDrive is great but it REALLY needs to be integrated with MESH.  I have been struggling to get a location set up where 3 of us can collaborate on a set of documents.  SkyDrive works but MESH can’t synchronize with my PC from SkyDrive!!  PITA!  Open to suggestions.

      Steve

  • A Fan

    Just tried uploading some very high quality DSLR pictures and it worked very smoothly.  It automatically reduced the image quality for smaller file size and faster upload. (It let you upload in original size if desired.) Downsizing was done without losing any clarity when viewed in web browser. That’s very nice. Navigating the album is VERY smooth as shown in the video.  I just might use this as my go-to cloud storage for sharing pictures.

  • PleaseHelpIE9

    Can someone tell me what the heck I am doing wrong? I am trying tp pin Skydrive and most of the time it just puts a generic IE icon in the taskbar. Right clicking only has two options: “Skydrive – Windows Live” and “unpin”. Sometimes, if I drag/unpin it enought times, it will show the Skydrive “cloud” icon but the options remain unchanged.

    • A Fan

      I clicked on “My files” under Skydrive. Then dragged the icon from the IE9 address bar to the Windows taskbar and it worked for me.

    • PleaseHelpIE9

      Thanks – tried this but didn’t work. I still get the same generic options when I right-click. Left clicking brings me to Skydrive just fine. I just don’t have any of the extra options as shown in the video…

    • PleaseHelpIE9

      Thanks – tried this but didn’t work. I still get the same generic options when I right-click. Left clicking brings me to Skydrive just fine. I just don’t have any of the extra options as shown in the video…

  • Anonymous

    this is really cooolll !!! cnt wait for it to get better and better

  • Viswanathr88

    Photos n all is better now. But I’m not able to move files to folders as in the old version #fail

  • John M Cary

    Needs better integration with live mesh to see your folders and share the 25gb. Very limited capabilities on iPhone.

  • http://twitter.com/s_a_r_k_i_s sarkis chamelian

    It looks FLIPPING AWESOME !!! GOT MINE !!!

  • http://twitter.com/s_a_r_k_i_s sarkis chamelian

    It looks FLIPPING AWESOME !!! GOT MINE !!!

  • Brent Morris

    Stunning – I have spent the last month Loading about 2.5 Gb to my Live account to be viewed on my Dell Venue Windows 7 Phone. So I have been REALLY looking at the old site… about 2.5 Gb worth of looking at it. So this is wonderful!! But buckle up folks – both the speed on the WP7 Photo and hitting the Live.com with the WP7 version of IE – pure WOW……. Give it a try for yourself & enjoy your own “JOB is Not god ….CLOUD”

  • http://twitter.com/jimmyfal Jimmy Fallon

    This is what I’m talking about. I wasn’t expecting this until the fall. Nice hit MS, you guys are about to steamroll the fruit company! Long time coming!

  • http://twitter.com/jimmyfal Jimmy Fallon

    I don’t see a way to move files that are already up there into other folders. Anyone figure this out? I’m thinking it can’t be done. I was trying to create a new folder to move some of the other folders and or file in to…. hmmm.

  • Kanelp

    I like what I see.  However they HAVE to get Live Mesh and Skydrive working together, so I can see my Live Mesh files in Skydrive and Skydrive folders from Live Mesh.  (Yes, I know that you can see you files in Live Mesh folder in Devices), but it should all be merged into one structure. That would be the ultimate configuration.  Then I could just sync my files from a shared folder accros my desktop, laptop, phone (in Mango) and in the cloud.  Come on Microsoft, you are SO CLOSE!

  • Anonymous

    Love the changes, they are wonderful but the thing that constantly nags at me is the fact that when you look at the live.com pages and menu, no where is there a link for Mesh. It’s impossible to get there unless I know the address: devices.live.com. Why does Microsoft insist on leaving out a link for this in the Windows Live menu? And why does it sync files into a seperate 5 gb system, which is actually fine but this should be an obvious and seamless experience. Skydrive is storage, Mesh sync’s files, so where is the link to do so within Skydrive?

    The irony is that when you go to Mesh, you get all the same menu items for Windows Live listed above like normal, yet, once again even on Mesh’s own pagee there is no Mesh link.  I can only hope that Windows Live Wave 5 fixes these obvious discrepancies.

  • http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com/ Stephanos Anton Ballmerfeld

    Trust the cloud people! Love the cloud! Be the cloud!

  • Anonymous

    I love it!
    it looks awesome and all, the only thing it doesn’t display is the transition stuff since IE9 doesn’t support it but i dont care about it, i like it pinned though, its really useful.

    I just wish they would put limit of files in 200mb or 150 at least, that would make it perfect, for some still not, but it would be better than the same 50mb. but most files i upload are in 100mb range. so even though i dont care zip-split files, it would be nice just uploading them, i hope soon they will make that nice surprise, be able to upload longer files.

    but skydrive is looking sooooooooo amazing.

  • http://twitter.com/jrlabs sausage_party

    Looks really good :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/martin.zugec Martin Zugec

    Just a warning though – I have always been a big fan of SkyDrive, but there are problems with it. 

    I was happy user with tons of pictures and documents that I stored in the SkyDrive, until one day, it stopped working. I was told (when I asked) that I violated terms of use, but they cannot tell me how. The content of SkyDrive is not deleted, the whole account is blocked (!). 

    I spoke with friends about this problem (from MS) and I was surprised how many of them had similar experience in the past. Friend of mine was uploading pictures of his new born (~1 year old) – the album was private and he had some pictures of his baby taking bath in there and that was the reason why his account got blocked also.

    After a while, I restored my access thanks to escalation within Microsoft (I was MVP at that time) and surprise – now it’s blocked again after few months.

    So be careful with what you store in SkyDrive

    Some screenshots and conversations can be seen here: 
    http://zetconsultants.com/blog/?p=131

    • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

      I know a bit on how that works. Windows Live account “moderation” (more like policing) is directly related to the user base country registered.  There are several levels of regula…err moderation and all of europe (but the UK for some reason) got the highest level.

      Ignore the specifics of the how or why on such things. 

  • http://twitter.com/AsTh11 Alessandro Grua

    I like it very much! It somehow remembers me of the Window 8 tiles! http://wp.me/p1fstf-1c

  • Rleads1

    How do I pin this to the taskbar?

    • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

      You drag the SkyDrive favicon to your  W7 Taskbar.

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    Since the buy and shutdown of XDrive from AOL, SkyDrive has been the undisputed leader in Cloud Storage for Consumers for years now.

    Now for some things not officially said clearly by the SkyDrive team:

    1.-If you are on IE8, the new skydrive will fallback to some clever HTML-JS trickery + Silverlight. But will still work. Just that in a modest and toned down way.
    2.-Bulk uploading continues to be best with Silverlight
    3.-There is a simple set of reason why Mesh is not yet fully integrated to SkyDrive: cost and the state of competition. Meaning that Microsoft don’t sees a reason to instantly raise the cost of running SkyDrive fully integrating Mesh into SkyDrive if there is nothing out there that from the big players that comes closes to what Mesh alone do.
    4.-There is something going on at the option for Live ID plus that hopefully would bring the chance for bigger file size limits and better options for SkyDrive. But i would not hold my breath on that as normally nothing happens year in, year out on that. And they have 5 years at it already.

    On what the future could bring:

    SkyDrive coming to W8 Windows Explorer in the same way you now can see via SDexplorer is now the biggest possibility. So it is the actual integration of Mesh into SkyDrive. So SkyDrive OS integration could end up being delivered via what is now the Live Mesh/Live Sync app. Or could be a W8 only WE integration. Lets hope it is the first one.

    • Scary Biscuits

      Don’t agree with your excuse for Microsoft, that it’s about cost or lack of competition.  Google Docs is already streets ahead of Microsoft Skydrive both technically and in terms of market share. Microsoft needs something to tempt people invested in Google Docs or the Apple fanboys back. Unfortunately, this is another example of Microsoft being a bit half-arsed about so much these days.

  • dotnetsoul

    All my pictures are downsized and I’m really not happy with that…option should be given to the user