Microsoft on Monday announced a big milestone for its cloud storage service SkyDrive: more than 250 million users. The company noted that it has added some 50 million accounts since the launch of Windows 8 less than seven months ago.

The Windows 8 connection is no coincidence. Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating system features a Modern UI (Metro) app for SkyDrive as well as the inclusion of SkyDrive data in the Charm functionality.

In short, Microsoft has made a big bet that cloud storage is a feature Windows users both want and need out-of-the-box. SkyDrive lets you save your files so you can get to them no matter where you are: it’s available on multiple PCs as well as non-Windows devices via the various free SkyDrive apps.

Just three months ago, Microsoft killed off Windows Live Mesh and asked users to move over to SkyDrive. At the time, however, Mesh had “less than 25,000 active users” meaning its axing didn’t notably add to SkyDrive’s growth, though it certainly didn’t hurt.

Microsoft has been updating SkyDrive on the regular, making it the default save location for Office, updating the mobile apps, and making “substantial performance improvements” to the uploading functionality. Just three days ago, the Outlook.com team announced it is rolling out a new feature that allows you to insert files and pictures directly from SkyDrive into the compose screen.

Despite more and more integration across various services, Microsoft is facing increasing competition from the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive. 250 million users is certainly a notable milestone, but this race is far from over.

Nevertheless, Microsoft is celebrating, and with an infographic too:

SkyDrive Anniversary 3DCCE54E Microsofts SkyDrive passes 250m users, adding 50m since the launch of Windows 8 seven months ago

See also – As SkyDrive hits 1bn documents, Microsoft now lets you share and edit files in Office Web Apps sans account and SkyDrive for iOS updated with new design, full resolution photos, iPhone 5 and iPad mini support, and more

Top Image credit: Asif Akbar