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Microsoft releases SkyDrive developer tools including Windows Phone 8, .NET SDKs

Microsoft has a bunch of new developer tools related to its SkyDrive file-sharing and cloud storage service, including new software development kits for .NET and Windows Phone 8.

The new SDKs for the .NET software framework for Windows and the recently released Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system are available for download at Microsoft's own developer portal or via NuGet for Visual Studio projects, the company said in a blog post announcing their availability.

The .NET SDK comes in both a client and server version, providing a .NET library for client desktop apps as well as for ASP.NET applications, Microsoft said, adding that "[w]ith this release you can now create applications that target traditional desktop scenarios and as well as server side scenarios."

Along with the Windows Phone 8 SDK, the devkit for .NET allows developers to build SkyDrive functionality into their apps and programs. For example, with the client version of the .NET SDK, developers can now "create WPF, Windows Form or console applications that let your users use their SkyDrive data," the software giant said.

With the server version of the SDK, .NET developers are now able to build ASP.NET websites and Web server components "that talk to SkyDrive," Microsoft said, while also making it "easier for you to incorporate Microsoft account into your identity system or even just use Microsoft account as your primary identity system."

Microsoft noted that there are already "a ton of Windows Phone applications that ... leverage SkyDrive in their applications." The new SDK basically adds support for the latest version of the OS to the mix but also builds on several new features in Windows Phone 8, the first such release by Microsoft to share the kernel of the flagship Windows operating system for desktops, laptops, and tablets.

One advantage of that shared foundation is that developers can now "easily move [their] code between [their] Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 application" via the new Task async pattern and dynamic keyword protocols.

Microsoft also drew attention to several representative SkyDrive tie-ins developed by its ecosystem, including IFTTT ("if this, then that"), the cross-platform "Recipe" tool that allows users to connect their channels across different social media services; the electronic signature service DocuSign; and SoundGecko, a text-to-audio transcribing service that uses SkyDrive to offer users anywhere access to files.