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Microsoft SkyDrive changes target Dropbox, Google: News in brief

Microsoft wants to integrate SkyDrive with leading services -- even other vendors’ -- to make it more user-friendly. Plus: news on Nokia’s Windows phones and Flash on Android.

Microsoft is ramping up its efforts in the personal cloud storage market. The company laid out future plans for its SkyDrive service in a blog post this week, pledging to make it more user-friendly.

Omar Shahine and Mike Torres, Microsoft’s SkyDrive program managers, acknowledged the popularity of Dropbox, Google Docs and Evernote. But they wrote that none of these tools can do everything users need, and combining them -- say, sharing a Google Docs file in Dropbox -- can lead to formatting errors and version-control headaches. Microsoft’s goal is to have SkyDive integrate with leading email and productivity apps and services to get rid of these compatibility problems.

“We want to have our content available anywhere, even if we use devices made by different companies with different operating systems,” Shahine and Torres wrote. 

Microsoft has previously said it will integrate SkyDrive with Windows 8, to make it as easy as possible to share files and data. And speaking of Windows 8, there was another round of rumors this week that Microsoft will be updating the Xbox 360 to run Windows 8.

Not-so-great expectations for Nokia Windows phones

Analysts are cutting back their expectations for Nokia’s new Windows phones drastically.

One analyst, who initially projected sales of Nokia’s Windows Phone 7 devices would hit about 2 million units this quarter, is now saying that number will be closer to 500,000, Forbes reported this week. And another analyst said these smartphones will suffer from the lack of a “breakthrough innovation.”

The news isn’t great for Nokia, which is moving away from its Symbian OS and getting all buddy-buddy with Microsoft. The Lumia 710 and 800 are the first Nokia phones to run the Windows Phone OS.

Flash’s farewell tour stops at Ice Cream Sandwich

Before Adobe stops developing Flash Player for Mobile, the company will provide one last version for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich, according to PhoneScoop. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone is the first to run the new Google OS, but it does not come with Flash pre-installed.

As of yet, there is no U.S. release date for the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE version of the Galaxy Nexus, which is already available in the U.K. and will make its way to Canada on Dec. 7, according to Computerworld. The Flash update for Ice Cream Sandwich will be available before the year is over.

Margaret Hanley is’s assistant site editor. Email her here. Colin Steele is’s senior site editor. Email him and follow him on Twitter @colinsteele.

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