So we've heard today that the Windows 8 Release Preview will be coming on May 31st, which is sure to excite many of our readers, but looking further into the future we've received some information regarding the future of SkyDrive. According to our tipster, who wishes to remain anonymous, he pulled some documents "months ago" from the public folders of SkyDrive team members that have slowly proven they are revealing some goodies about future SkyDrive features.
Naturally these files were probably not meant to be accessed by the public, so they have since gone dark on the team members' accounts; however we have some images provided by our tipster (who would prefer we didn't show them) that reveal a couple of interesting things. First of all, one document is a list of "problems" that the SkyDrive team has identified, with solutions seen in one column.
Many of these solutions have already implemented in different stages, such as the release of SkyDrive desktop apps for PC and Mac and changes to storage and pricing back in April (listed as an "M3" release on this chart), as well as the OneNote app for Android that integrates with SkyDrive (released in February). This chart however lists a new "M4" release as well that features two unseen "solutions": an Android application (finally) and a "recycle bin" feature.
Nothing more is listed about the Android application, which should be fairly straightforward, but the recycle bin feature seems the most interesting. It is listed under the "backup" heading which mentions "I don't want to lose my stuff if something happens to my device" as a problem. This could indicate that SkyDrive will keep deleted files or file history for a certain time, or perhaps it will backup the content of certain folders on your PC in case something happens. Whatever the recycle bin is, we'll surely find out soon.
How soon? Well that's where the second document comes in, as it is a basic timeline that lists the releases of different SkyDrive milestones. Two of the milestones have already passed, one on the week of February 6, the week which OneNote for Android was released; and the second on the week of April 23, the week of the new SkyDrive desktop apps and storage changes. The next milestone is due on either the week of July 23 or July 30, which could mean that's the release of the "M4" features listed above.
The information we received does seem accurate and plausible, but as always take this information under advisement until the actual time for release comes around, which by our count should be late July.
Update: The Verge claims that documents supplied to them (likely the same as we saw, perhaps more complete) indicate the "M4" release is not the same as the July 23 or 30 release we saw, and that a separate Milestone 3 release is coming then instead with minor improvements; confusing considering some parts of our chart mentioned already release updates as "M3".
If the "M4" release does indicate a release further along in the future, it would be in September as opposed to July which is slightly disappointing for those waiting out for the Android app. Either way, there are some exciting things coming for SkyDrive.
Thanks to our anonymous tipster!