Microsoft Adds Paid SkyDrive Plans and New Desktop Apps
Microsoft announced today new SkyDrive cloud storage plans that are priced lower than competing plans from Dropbox and SugarSync. Microsoft also announced new Windows and Mac SkyDrive apps.
In a blog post, Microsoft revealed the following SkyDrive plans:
* 7GB of storage free. Formerly, Microsoft offered 25GB of free SkyDrive storage. Microsoft said “for a limited time, any registered SkyDrive user who has uploaded files to SkyDrive as of April 22nd can opt in to keep 25GB of free storage.” SkyDrive users who already have uploaded more than 4GB of files as of April 1 will automatically be opted in to 25GB of free storage. Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t specify what “a limited time” means.
* An additional 20GB of storage costs $10 a year.
* An extra 50GB of storage is $25 yearly.
* Adding 100GB of storage will cost $50 each year.
For comparison, Dropbox gives you 2GB of free storage. Paid plans are $99 a year for 50GB and $200 annually for 100GB. Team accounts are also available.
SugarSync gives users 5GB of storage free. After that, $50 a year gets you 30GB; $100 annually offers 60GB; and $150 a year nets you 100GB of storage.
Cloud storage plans are popular with mobile users in particular, as it allows them to sync files across multiple computers and to access them from handheld devices.
In addition, Microsoft is making available “preview” versions of SkyDrive apps for Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista as well as Mac OS X Lion. The apps are free and will allow users to drag and drop files up to 2GB in size to and from SkyDrive folders. Like Dropbox, files are managed in one central folder that syncs with Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service.
Google is rumored to be coming out soon with a cloud storage service of its own.