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New SkyDrive apps and storage plans released today

Today, April 23, 2012, Microsoft released new SkyDrive apps for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, and the Mac. They also added a tiered storage plan to their SkyDrive service that allows users to backup, store, and sync files across trusted devices.

The service will offer new users 7 GB of free storage. For existing users, Microsoft is allowing the same 25 GB of storage previously offered just for staying with them and choosing to upgrade. Many users may have already been upgrade automatically, free of charge.

This update allows for easier file copying and syncing between devices. For Windows users, a file can be dragged and dropped in and out of SkyDrive folders. Mac users are able to use Finder to access their SkyDrive files just like any folder. Both updated apps sync back to your online folders which can be accessed from your Windows Phone, iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Tiered storage options have also made their way into the SkyDrive system. Users can add 20 GB ($10/year), 50 GB ($25/year), or 100 GB ($50/year) of storage to their account. File size limits are now set to 2 GB instead of the previous 100 MB, which helps those looking to backup priceless pictures and family videos.

This service is similar to DropBox, which offers 2 GB of free storage. DropBox does offer the potential to earn more storage by referring more people to their service. Microsoft shares a comparison chart between SkyDrive and other cloud-based services. The only item not on the list is how many other services and applications integrate with SkyDrive. DropBox seems to have the edge on integration for now. If Microsoft can encourage developers to embrace this connection, more people may make the move to Microsoft.

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