Microsoft announces SkyDrive re-design, Outlook.com hits 10 million users

A screenshot of the newly redesigned Microsoft SkyDrive. Microsoft

A screenshot of the newly re-designed Microsoft SkyDrive.
Microsoft/Chenda Ngak
(CBS News) Microsoft launched a re-design of its cloud storage service SkyDrive Wednesday and announced some impressive membership numbers for its new email site Outlook.com.

Microsoft launches Outlook.com to rival Gmail
Microsoft's Outlook.com scores 1 million users
Full coverage of Microsoft at Tech Talk

SkyDrive got a facelift to match Microsoft's current design aesthetics and integrate better with the newly launched Outlook.com. The new design feels more tablet-friendly, with a touch-screen user interface in mind.

Here are the ways that Microsoft says it has updated SkyDrive:

SkyDrive.com - New, 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 and 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 has been making a radical move toward tablet computing - starting with the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, which traded in the traditional Windows look for tiles that are geared toward touch-screens. In May, Microsoft announced it would enter the hardware space with the Surface tablet - a first for the company. Two weeks ago, Outlook.com was launched as a replacement for Hotmail. The service was widely lauded by critics as a success for the software giant.

In a blog post Microsoft Windows Live vice president Chris Jones reported that in just two weeks, Outlook.com has garnered 10 million users. The email service features a clean design, integration with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, a new photo viewer, Skype calls inside the inbox and the ability to pull contacts from Facebook and LinkedIn.

Users can open Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents from an email, then view and edit documents online. Skype video chats can also be launched from the inbox. However, that feature is not yet live. The company says the feature will be available "soon." SkyDrive, is also integrated into Outlook.com.

The re-design of SkyDrive and the launch of Outlook.com comes ahead of the pending Windows 8 and Surface tablet launches. Both are rumored to launch this fall.

(Below, watch CNET senior editor Scott Stein and CBSNews' Chenda Ngak discuss the risks, rewards and future of cloud computing.)

Comments