Microsoft Reveals Revamped SkyDrive Cloud Service

With Windows 8 and a new Metro-style app, Microsoft’s SkyDrive service will evolve from a basic file storage solution into an integrated data and device cloud targeted at all Windows users.

The building Windows 8 blog continues to be an invaluable resource for those looking for in-depth information on Microsoft’s upcoming OS and many of its new or customized features. In the latest post on the blog, Mike Torres and Omar Shahine, Group Program Managers for SkyDrive, detail the changes coming to Microsoft’s cloud storage service and its tight integration with Windows 8.SkyDrive is not new, in fact it already has over 17 million users, but it’s currently a somewhat clunky solution. With Windows 8, however, Microsoft plans to revamp SkyDrive and make it simple and seamless for users to store data in the cloud for easy access anywhere. “As we developed Windows 8, we thought deeply about how these services can take an even more active role in completing the experience—offering a cloud service for each and every Windows 8 customer and all their PCs (and phones)...”As it stands today, SkyDrive is a decent tool for cloud storage and collaboration, but it doesn’t stand out in a market that’s becoming increasingly more crowded with competing—and often better—solutions. With its re-envisioned SkyDrive service, app, and Windows 8 (and eventually Windows Vista and 7) though, Microsoft aims to offer a simple, one-stop-shop, for every Windows user looking to access their data remotely or on multiple devices or PCs.

SkyDrive Will Be Integrated Into Windows Explorer. Image Source: Microsoft

In the post, Torres and Shahine say, “We think what people want in personal cloud storage is a single drive that’s available across all of their devices, tailored to the experiences they’re using, providing instant, secure, and private access to their files, and sharing files and folders with people they choose.” The post continues, “To bring this to billions of people, our approach is to seamlessly connect the files (and behaviors) that people have today on the PC with the app and device experiences that they will use in the future.”Microsoft’s vision for SkyDrive and Windows 8 reaches way beyond just basic storage, however. The post explains that SkyDrive is evolving from just a website for storing files into a data and device cloud service. A Metro-style app for SkyDrive is being developed for Windows 8 (for both desktop and mobile variants) that offers simple slide and swipe controls, as one would expect. But SkyDrive on Windows 8 will also be fully integrated into Windows Explorer as well; any operation available within Windows Explorer is possible when accessing files via SkyDrive. As such, third-party applications will also be able to access files stored in the SkyDrive cloud as if they were right on the local PC. Users running the SkyDrive app on their systems will also be able to access files stored on the PC remotely, provided they’ve got the necessary login credentials.The post goes on to says, “While there will be a lot more to say about SkyDrive as our story evolves, we hope a small peek under the curtain has helped get you excited for SkyDrive on Windows 8.” From what we’ve seen so far, Microsoft has succeeded. SkyDrive on Windows 8 looks quite promising to say the least.

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