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Microsoft experiments with online storage

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | August 20, 2007
Microsoft has launched SkyDrive, an online video storage service, using which Windows Live users can store up to 500MB of data

Online storage & #BANNER1 & # 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.

So, will Microsoft follow the same route and offer extra storage for a price? Krishna Prasad, head of programming, MSN India and Windows Live, says of the SkyDrive project, "Once we start people using this service, we could offer higher services. We will watch the product for three to six months and then decide." Prasad says that Microsoft's policy has always been to keep the base services free and charge for value-added services. Its Windows Live Hotmail Plus, for instance, is available with 10GB storage space for $19.99 a year.

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.

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