Microsoft is launching a couple of new SkyDrive apps, making the cloud storage service available to more users on more platforms. Starting today, a preview version is available for the desktop, so if you’re running Windows Vista, Windows 7, the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and even Windows for Mac (OS X Lion), you can access the service locally.
On SkyDrive for Windows, everything syncs automatically. So if you make a change to a document on your phone, it will instantly appear on your PC. You can also drag-and-drop files up to 2GB between your SkyDrive folders.
Additionally, Microsoft has added some new fetching options, meaning you can access your files from a remote PC running the newest version of the SkyDrive preview. All the mobile apps (iOS and Windows Phone) have been refreshed too, for easier sharing. The new iPad got some love too, with added support for retina display.
There have also been some changes to the SkyDrive storage options. If you sign up today, you’ll get just 7GB free, as opposed to the previous offering of 25GB. But if you’re an existing user (as of April 22), you can opt to continue with the larger amount of free storage. There are a couple of paid offerings beyond that, up to 100GB for $US50 a year.
Though you can already do most of these things with DropBox, it’s undoubtedly a good move on Microsoft’s part to expand its offerings. [Building Windows 8]