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Microsoft upgrades SkyDrive with HTML5, drops Silverlight

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Tue June 21, 2011

Promises faster, more user-friendly user interface

Microsoft has officially launched its updated SkyDrive service. The new architecture is based on HTML5 instead of Silverlight. The company had said last October it would make this transition to ensure better cross platform compatibility with more devices including iPhones, iPads and smartphones.

The updated version will be faster, easier to navigate and optimized for photo viewing.

Microsoft claims to have improved core operations so that the new SkyDrive will be significantly faster. Clicking folders and navigating through photo albums will go from six to nine seconds down to 100-300 milliseconds. Tasks have been designed to take advantage of hardware acceleration.

The company has centralized the primary access point for documents, photos and shared files around SkyDrive, instead of multiple access points including, and A new pane with direct access to files including Word and Excel has replace a pane previously dedicated to ads.

Photo viewing has been improved. Photos are now presented in their original aspect ratio. There are no longer pages to be leafed through: all pictures can be viewed in on continuous scroll. Because the album viewer is built around HTML5, images can be viewed multiple browsers, not just IE.

SkyDrive also leverages HTML5 video tagging to support playback of H.264 videos (up to 100 MB),

Microsoft has not any timetable for rolling out the updated platform, only that it would be "soon."

By Electronista Staff


  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Apr 2011


    Droping a proprietary format -

    A smart move!

    MS is at it's best when under pressure

  1. chas_m



    Credit where it's due

    Bravo to MS for using a real STANDARD -- HTML5 -- over Silverlight. I have no plans to ever install Silverlight, and I'm sure I'm not alone on this. It's nice to see the change of attitude at MS, I hope it spreads throughout the company and then moves on to "infect" the minds at Adobe.

  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011



    Silverlight wasn't half bad for a nonstandard format but I'm glad they're going with HTML5. Windows 8 is going to have a lot of HTML5 based stuff in it.

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006



    I never installed Silverlight, even when the newer Flip4Mac installers tried to install it as default.

  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011



    lol, you Mac zealots bury me for no reason. I love it. Apple sucks balls.

    Now I gave you a reason.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    Happy about that news.

    That decision deserves a raise!

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002



    we bury you because you're scum. are you also too stupid to realize that? seriously? you're scum and stupid?


  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001


    Third time Silverlight has been downplayed

    It looks like Microsoft is moving towards HTML/JavaScript and away from Silverlight. The new WP7 IE browser dropped Silverlight, and so did Bing. Now Live is dropping Sliverlight.

    I wonder if this is pointing to iOS's refusal to use Silverlight or Flash. Imagine someone with a Windows computer and an iPhone deciding against Skydrive because it didn't work with their iPhone.

    This also could be pointing to a realization that Microsoft is beginning to understand that they've lost much of their influence. In the 1990s, if Microsoft put out Silverlight, it would quickly become a must have standard and would have locked everyone into Windows. Now, Silverlight may be a reason not to use a service.

    Microsoft has some good stuff. The question is whether Microsoft can stop fighting with itself long enough to let its products shine, or whether the Windows/Office team is more determined to beat down other technologies even if it is to the detriment of Microsoft.

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