Microsoft to tightly integrate Windows 8 and SkyDrive

The goal is for SkyDrive to become a single drive available across all the devices people use

Microsoft will extend SkyDrive from being an online file storage service into what the company calls "a device cloud" that is closely integrated with Windows 8, the next version of the company's OS.

The vision is for SkyDrive to become "a single drive" available across all the devices people use, giving them "instant, secure and private access to their files" and letting them share those files with others, Microsoft said in a blog post on Monday.

In Windows 8, the "DNA" of SkyDrive and the Mesh file sync technology will merge into a single service, according to the post, published on the company's "Building Windows 8" blog and authored by Mike Torres and Omar Shahine, group program managers for SkyDrive.

Specifically, SkyDrive will be included as an application on Windows 8, SkyDrive files will be accessible from the desktop via Windows Explorer and users will be able to "fetch" files remotely from their hard drive through SkyDrive.com.

The SkyDrive application included with Windows 8 will be a Metro style one, meaning its user interface will be optimized for touch screen-based devices like tablets, and it will make it possible for people to access their SkyDrive accounts from any other Metro style application through Windows 8 controls for opening, saving and sharing files.

"This will bring a file cloud to every Metro style app, allowing you to open files in your SkyDrive and save them right back to your SkyDrive just like you would on your local hard drive," the post reads.

To take advantage of this functionality, end users only need to register an email address on a PC running Windows 8, after which "whenever you save files on SkyDrive, every Windows 8 device you use will provide seamless access to those files," according to the post.

Meanwhile, Windows 8 will also have a traditional desktop application for SkyDrive, to be managed via Windows Explorer and available to desktop applications like Office. Users will be able to store and retrieve SkyDrive files through a drag-and-drop interface.

Through a sync functionality based on Mesh, people will be able to have desktop copies of their SkyDrive files, and synchronize changes so that versions are kept consistent both locally and on the cloud. This desktop version of SkyDrive will also be compatible with devices running both Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Finally, SkyDrive on Windows 8 will also let users remotely access files that they've opted to only store locally on a PC's hard drive, a feature Microsoft developed assuming that not everyone will want to store every file online in SkyDrive.

This remote access via SkyDrive.com will require that users enter a second authentication element -- a code Microsoft will send them to an alternate email address or to their mobile phone.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?