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 It seems like cloud storage is now officially all the rage -- install a few free apps and you could have acres of gigabytes to play with, as Microsoft joins the fun by adding a SkyDrive app for Apple's iPhone.

Just Like the Good Old Days

Remember in the early days of webmail when one provider would offer you so-many megabytes of email storage, then next week a new provider would offer a little more. Those times are back as providers are offering rapidly increasing amounts of cloud-based space for us to store our stuff in.

Microsoft's SkyDrive has been around for some time, but is getting a major mobile push as the company tries to hype up its new Windows Phone models and fend off relative newcomers like Box.net. But, as with most other players, it is hedging its bets on the software front and providing apps for the major platforms, and increasing the stakes with 25GB of storage.

SkyDrive offers 25Gb of easily available storage

SkyDrive offers 25Gb of easily available storage
 

Sign and Go

All you need is a Hotmail or other Microsoft account to log in with and you're off to the races. SkyDrive's storage handily beat's Box.net's and Apple's 5GB offerings, but expect those numbers to start spiraling as the market heats up.

Once into SkyDrive, you can create folders to organize your space and copy over documents, music, photos or whatever else you have. You can share folders for others to access and the app has a handy Recent Files button to help find your latest content. If you use the Windows Phone version of the app, then you can edit your documents in the cloud, but on the iPhone one, you can only view files.

Sharing the Same Pool

There is no iPad-specific app as of yet, but users can use the Web edition to access data. Okay, its not quite as automated as Apple's iCloud, but that space could come in useful and for existing SkyDrive users, the app will simplify the process of accessing those files.

With Microsoft having recently added Lync, an Xbox app and with more on the way to the iPhone, it is pushing its mobile wares pretty hard as America waits to get its hands on the new Windows 7 mobiles. Expect SkyDrive to be an essential part of Windows 8 next year.