Microsoft already offers a market-leading cloud storage service through their SkyDrive system. But the computing giant isn’t resting on its laurels, as evidenced by the recent announcement of some major upgrades to their offerings.

According to the company’s debriefing, SkyDrive’s entire interface has been retooled, and will now match the tile-centric layout of all other Windows 8 devices. The new layout, deemed ‘Metro’ by Microsoft, will appear consistently on all the company’s new releases, include the upgraded Office release and new Windows operating system.

In addition, Microsoft has added to SkyDrive’s search capabilities, expanded the sorting options, and improved the functioning of the drag-and-drop features. The SkyDrive desktop app has also received upgrades that should smooth performance on both Mac OS X and Windows 8 platforms, helping bulk uploads complete faster and with less glitches.

Microsoft has also taken off all restrictions from the SkyDrive API, giving programmers the ability to adjust its functioning to their needs. This now allows third-party apps of all sorts to be uploaded to the Drive, making their cloud storage system welcoming for as many devices and users as possible.

These significant upgrades shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to fans of Microsoft or industry experts. It’s been clear for well over a year now that Microsoft feels their SkyDrive will soon become one of the cornerstone products in their library. And since it will seamlessly integrate into all other Windows-powered desktop and mobile devices, they expect an increase in user retention across the board.

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