Friday, April 6, 2012

An even faster version of SkyDrive

An even faster version of SkyDrive:
The past year has been an amazing time here on the SkyDrive team. We’re all very eager to ship the work we announced in our next release, but we can’t just sit back and relax. Like a shark, we have to keep moving forward. As we started to think about the next generation interface for SkyDrive, we needed something fresh. It’s too easy to get caught up in the visual distraction of a traditional GUI, especially when you really just want to see a directory listing of your files. As we pulled together the vision, our design principles included getting back to our monochromatic roots, presenting the user with fewer commands, all while providing the most powerful interface possible. So what is the next big thing?

Forget touch and even the mouse

The more we thought about it, the more we realized that the model we were looking for was right in front of us – or at least used to be. We harkened back to a time when computing was simpler. Sure, interface design has changed over the years, but do people really want to navigate through their files with the flick of a finger or view photos with a click of a mouse? Maybe. But we believe the first and best way for humans to interact with computers is through terse commands entered via the good old keyboard. That’s when it hit us: what the world needs is a SkyDrive Command Line Interface!

Introducing SkyCMD

Starting today, you can finally interact with SkyDrive the way you’ve always wanted to. You can use the classic DOS syntax to easily navigate your file hierarchy—familiar commands like “dir” and “cd.” Simple. Powerful.
SkyDrive command line window
SkyCMD: Command line access to your files on SkyDrive. Go to and check it out.
Once you connect SkyCMD to your SkyDrive account you can do many of the powerful things that only a CLI can offer. As for customization, try the “color” command to give your SkyCMD window a little flare.

Built from our SkyDrive APIs

One of our amazing developers, Luke, came up with the early rendition of SkyCMD and showed it around the SkyDrive hallways a couple months ago. We all loved it and knew that if it had a few more obscure commands and the right ASCII art we had a winner on our hands. The volume of internal feature requests for SkyCMD grew to the point that we’ve put the entire SkyDrive engineering organization to work building it. Our developer APIs, which Dare Obasanjo wrote about in his blog post back in December, are so powerful we just used those. We have even put the source code out as part of our sample code.
Of course in the near future we are going to ship what we recently announced and then some. But going forward the future of SkyDrive is SkyCMD!
Tony East
Lead Program Manager,

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