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Microsoft Brings Paid Storage Plans, Updates to SkyDrive

Microsoft gave a heads up in February that it would enhance its online storage experience, and today announced that it will release SkyDrive on Windows (desktop) and OS X Lion as well as update the cloud service for iOS and Windows Phone. Preview applications on for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista as well as Mac OS X Lion were released today.

SkyDrive has been trailing behind DropBox, but now the service can also automatically upload any folder you save to the cloud and let you access it directly from Windows explorer on any computer. But there's a catch: Users' free storage, formerly 25GB, is now limited to 7GB. This may not be a problem to most, though, as Microsoft stated that only a small percentage of users utilize more than that 7GB. Those who were using more than 4GB as of April 1 will keep their 25GB.

Customers can opt in to purchase additional storage of up to 100GB: $10 per year for an additional 20GB and $50 per year for 100GB. Paid plans start at a relatively affordable $10/year for 20GB and go up to $50/year for 100GB.

The company also announced updates for iOS and Windows Phone, including iPad support, the ability to edit files from your device and see how much storage space you have left.

Google Drive has been rumored to be released in the very near future; so stay tuned to see how all three services compare.