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SkyDrive for Windows and OS X Lion app now available with new paid storage plans

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Microsoft has released a preview copy of its Windows and Mac OS X Lion SkyDrive applications to sync data to-and-from the company's online cloud storage service.

SkyDrive for Windows preview
SkyDrive for Windows preview

We brought you the news earlier today that Microsoft was planning to release its SkyDrive for Windows app shortly and the company has now made the application available to download a little sooner than we expected. A preview copy of SkyDrive for Windows has been released for Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista users in 106 different languages worldwide. Microsoft has also provided a preview version for Mac OS X Lion users too, providing access to SkyDrive documents directly within Finder.

SkyDrive for Windows will allow users to drag-and-drop files (up to 2GB in size) to and from SkyDrive folders. Similar to Dropbox, all files and SkyDrive content will be managed in one central folder that syncs with Microsoft's online cloud storage. There is also a new fetching files option that allows SkyDrive desktop users to access, browser, and stream files from a remote PC running the latest preview of SkyDrive desktop — handy if you forgot to sync a particular file from your desktop PC while you away from your PC.

Combined with today's release of SkyDrive for Windows and OS X Lion, Microsoft also announced changes to its free and paid storage offerings. All new SkyDrive users will be offered 7GB of free space, a reduction from the usual 25GB of storage. Microsoft believes that 99.94 percent of SkyDrive customers use 7GB or less today, so most new customers will be unaffected. Existing users of SkyDrive who are using more than 4GB of space (as of April 1st) will automatically keep their 25GB of free space, while other existing users can simply opt-in to ensure they don't lose the allocation.