Microsoft have announced a nice set of updates coming to SkyDrive their cloud sharing system.  They are adding app-centric file sharing, HTML5 uploading, PDF support and new file management tools.

Read the detailed post on the Windows Team blog for all the details and checkout the video showing the new features. The update should be rolling out over the next few days.

We have a long list of improvements that we set out to make to SkyDrive. While not all of the feedback we’ve received is addressed, we feel that this release is a big step forward—especially for the growing number of customers using SkyDrive to share and access Office documents.

Simple app-centric sharing, particularly for Office docs

As we look to the future, we know people increasingly think and work in a way that is “app-centric,” that is, they want something that just works from whatever application they are already using. So for example, when collaborating on a Word document, they want be able to share it in as few steps as possible – ideally without having to leave Word in order to set permissions or move it around to different folders. And they definitely don’t want to have to think about their folder structure or which email service their friends happen to use.

In the past, SkyDrive has made this difficult. We built the experience around discrete folders that were either private (“Documents”) or shared (“Class documents”). So how you wanted to share also dictated the way you organized your data. Also, sharing on SkyDrive was designed to work best when you shared files with people in your Windows Live network. Meanwhile, the most common scenario—sharing or collaborating with friends or colleagues across email services or other networks—was often a complex and unreliable process.

As a result, we rebuilt fundamental pieces of SkyDrive to simplify sharing and make it more app-centric, particularly for Office. For example, let’s say you’re working in Word Web App on a document in one of your private folders. Now you can Share from within the app and complete your task, without having to think about the structure of folders or subfolders. This is possible since SkyDrive now lets you share or permission individual files within a folder. This works for Office documents, photos, or any other type of file.

But we didn’t stop there. We also redesigned the sharing process – to make it much easier to share with people across email services and networks.

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