More information surfaces on Microsoft's SkyBox and SkyMart

Last month we exclusively revealed that Microsoft is due to unveil some exciting new services for Windows Mobile in a couple of weeks time.

Mary Jo Foley has done some digging and has discovered that Microsoft's MobileMe competitor, Skybox, is based on the Mobicomp synchronization technologies that the company acquired when they purchased Mobicomp in the summer of 2008.

Skybox, version 1.0 is expected to be free, supported by an adverts driven web portal. The beta will begin in mid February and will allow users to back-up and restore their data; manage content; and share that content with other users.

According to Foley "By summer 2009, Microsoft is planning to field the 1.5 version of the Skybox service. The 1.5 release will come in two flavors, if Microsoft sticks to its current plan: a free Skybox standard service and a subscription-based Skybox premium service. The 1.5 service will be available on Windows Mobile 6.1, 6.5 and a select few non-Windows-Mobile phones."

Microsoft will eventually hit Skybox 2.0 which "is designed to allow users to manage their mobile devices from the Web; they will be able to change ringtones, backgrounds and manage their mobile apps, music and video all from the cloud, sources said. Version 2.0 will integrate with Skymarket, providing users with a way to buy and store applications and application data on remote servers. Supposedly, with Skybox 2.0, Microsoft also figures out how to integrate Windows Live services and Live Mesh with Skybox."

According to Neowin's own sources, "SkyMarket" is now SkyMart. Only two weeks to go until we find out a bit more. Stay tuned.

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I'll reserve judgement until we learn the actually details about SkyBox later this month. Its unclear to me why this should be separate from Microsoft's other storage/sharing/syncing solutions like Live SkyDrive, Live Sync or Live Mesh.

Geez...why not just figure out how to integrate it with Live Mesh NOW and call it....(wait for it) Live Mesh?? Instead of introducing another confusing product/brand into the already confusing Windows Live sphere? They need better integration of all their services, and this thing should be compatible with Windows Live (ie Hotmail, Calendar syncing, Photos, Live Mesh, etc.) from the beginning! It's hard to imagine what MS is thinking.

Sky, Live, Windows Live, Live SkyDrive, Xbox Live, Live Mail, Live Hotmail... OMG... will Microsoft please stop trying to "simplify" their branding? It's making my head hurt.

...I'm not sure what's hard about it. It seems pretty straight forward to me. I must be a genius. Yeah, they need to simplify it... but does it really make your head hurt? If you want me to, i can explain all their services to you, just let me know I'll give you my email.

Is it that hard?

SkyMart/SkyBox/SkyLine - Direct Mobile services
Live Search - Search
Windows Live (includes Live Mail, Live Hotmail, etc.) - Web services + software
Xbox Live - Xbox platform

Not too hard...

^Hahaha! Skybox? Man..didn't they manufacture (maybe still do) baseball, basketall, and football cards? So..let me get this right, this thing is going to be Beta? Man, I think it sucks to be MS Mobile right now..they are falling behind very fast and not to be negative, but WM 6.5 doesn't look to be device shattering!

I don't think that your info on WiMo is very accurate; look at how many WiMo Smartphones *from all manufacturers* have been sold versus other platforms. Clearly, WiMo is the winner. Back in Feb. 2008, Engadget reported that there were there were 14.3 million WiMo units sold...for the last 6 month period! Apple has nowhere near that sales volume...and "sales volume" can not be counted by the number of web-hits by iPhone-Safari browsers as Apple has done in the past. Apple just recently was able to access Exchange servers for email, and there are significantly more companies & corporations that use Exchange for their email & collaboration services, and the only reliable way to have mobile employess get to those services is....NOT Apple.

Whoever decided to use SkyNet really hasn't done their research ... I mean, using a name that is established in a movie as the thing that brought down the world? Although trivial, I think they could have chosen something a little different.