has become the latest carrot that consumer Internet companies are dangling at their customers. Days after Google announced that storage beyond a point on Gmail would be charged, Microsoft has rolled out a pilot project in the UK, the US and India called Sky Drive, a free online vault.
Windows Live SkyDrive is an online storage service using which users can store up to 500MB of data, for free. According to Microsoft, SkyDrive can store about 100 songs, 1,000 Office documents or 3,000 high-resolution digital photos. The company has also increased to 5 GB the storage on its Windows Live Mail, which was launched in May in India; this is almost double Gmail's 2.8 GB limit.
Prasad adds that SkyDrive will be integrated with all of MSN's products, including MSN Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail and, possibly, Office Live, which is the online version of Microsoft Office. SkyDrive has a sharing facility, as in Google Docs and Spreadsheets and a drag-and-drop feature for transferring files.
MSN has also created a central home page for all Windows Live services. The company is expected to further integrate these services in the coming weeks to enable communication and sharing between Windows Live users.