Windows 8 cloud features uncovered

After the leak of Windows 8, we expected to find out more about features as users across the internet got their hands on the bits, and some users have already pulled apart Windows 8 and discovered interesting references to functionality that we haven't seen yet.

Windows 8 Italia has uncovered the cloud features by comparing the registry to previous versions. References to Mobile broadband experience account, File Server Resource Manager, Setting Synchronization and Streaming Manager were uncovered.

Mobile broadband experience account appears to be a reference to allowing the user to log in via the cloud, but not too much more detail was available. The File Server Resource Manager will "synchronize files and folders between the local computer and a cloud service," which is likely to be integrated Windows Live Mesh, which was previously rumored to be included.

Setting synchronization is simply the synchronization of the users' settings across the computer (and devices) using the cloud with Windows Live ID (it even appears there's a new group policy object to deal with this already). Finally, streaming manager appears to be technology similar to the type that we saw in the Office 2010 "Click-to-run" beta, which allows the user to install software and use it as parts are being downloaded.

The article also points out a number of new linguistic capabilities that are available in Windows 8, including "text prediction."

Microsoft is expected to launch Windows 8 in 2012 with the current rumored retail availability for January 2013. Another rumor also suggests that there may be a beta as soon as this fall.

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I am still extremely sceptical about this push to the "cloud". We already struggle to keep online data secure and private as it is (emails, etc). Last thing I want is Windows trying to publish all my business documents to a server.

Fourjays said,
I am still extremely sceptical about this push to the "cloud". We already struggle to keep online data secure and private as it is (emails, etc). Last thing I want is Windows trying to publish all my business documents to a server.

I'm sure you dont have to. That's probably an option. And either way... unless you store your emails on a local exchange server... they're on Google's, Yahoo's, or MS's server.

ccoltmanm said,
They have to work on names. File Server Resource Manager is never going to work.

Who needs a catchy name when you can just call it the FSRM? One thing Microsoft is exceedingly good at is labeling everything with an acronym. As much as I love MSDN for a reference material, once in a while there's a "wait what" moment trying to remember them all.

if all would be on the cloud, whats the point to sell the OS?. Pre-installed, maybe but sooner or later you will need to "download" the calculator just to do 2+2, and thats what google is doing right now.

ThePitt said,
if all would be on the cloud, whats the point to sell the OS?. Pre-installed, maybe but sooner or later you will need to "download" the calculator just to do 2+2, and thats what google is doing right now.

Not exactly... Google is leveraging the Windows platform, where the heart of OS is. Windows is seen by consumers by the 'apps' included, but has nothing to do with the true appeal of the consistency, development frameworks, and base technologies.

Even Google doesn't trust their own platforms, as they do not have the robust abilities or security or performance of Windows. Chrome for example is always 'guaranteed' or 'challenges' issued by Google all state it only applies to Chrome running on Windows 7. (Like the last browser hacker contest where Google offered extra money for hacking in through Chrome, it had to be on Win7.)

This is where the real debate between dumb clients and terminal based computing sounds good until the underlying technology on the 'client' is now needed to be highly advanced. For example without the NT and Video and DriectX, any game, whether online or not will not run well.

ThePitt said,
if all would be on the cloud, whats the point to sell the OS?. Pre-installed, maybe but sooner or later you will need to "download" the calculator just to do 2+2, and thats what google is doing right now.

You probably don't understand what "cloud" means here,,,

Please note that Click to Run for Office 2010 came out of beta and is actually how you download and install trial versions of Microsoft Office or full retail digital downloads.

Microsoft is just now getting out of the anti-trust agreement with the DoJ. It's prohibited them from integrating services. I doubt that they would put themselves back into a position that would leave them vulnerable to lawsuit again. There is also increased competition from Apple and Google this time around and I think they could easily argue that their domination in the mobile market should allow them to have the same rules and allow them to integrate their currently disjointed services into a more coherent ecosystem. IMHO, I think that MS will wipe the floor with Google and Apple when they are allowed to play by the same rules. Apple and google just don't have the depth of services and enterprise capabilities that MS does and if allowed to integrate and experiences, they would have a superior product.

Yeah the antitrust stuff expires in May, hence why I think we are getting a lot of needed features and a lot of integration. The competition when they originally when they got sued there wasn't the same kind of competition as what there is now.

Integration is now what makes companies competitive, without it is actually making MS not competitive and I for one am looking forward to the new MS.

Yeah the antitrust stuff expires in May, hence why I think we are getting a lot of needed features and a lot of integration. The competition when they originally when they got sued there wasn't the same kind of competition as what there is now.

Integration is now what makes companies competitive, without it is actually making MS not competitive and I for one am looking forward to the new MS.

Kirkburn said,
If it expires in May, wouldn't that mean this stuff is still being developed under their eye?

No, because this isn't a press release or an announcement, it's a leak from a tech enthusiast forum.

Might be a revelation here, but Neowin isn't monitored by the government to that extent.

johnnyq3 said,
This reminds me of Halo 2 for Windows Vista, in which you can play the game as it is installing.

I believe that's called Tray and Play.

Can we please discuss the actual product, than the whole "oh noes, Microsoft adds features to Windows which I don't like, and for that, I'm going to bitch to the government" crap?

Microsoft is integrating various MS products and technologies like Live Login, Mail Client, Mesh to Windows 8, which is good for users. But it will result in many antitrust suits against Microsoft.

Balmer said that Windows 8 is companies riskiest bet, I guess it's not just about usability changes (Metro) but also about political consequences.

Gaurav Agrawal said,
Microsoft is integrating various MS products and technologies like Live Login, Mail Client, Mesh to Windows 8, which is good for users. But it will result in many antitrust suits against Microsoft.

It's an interesting setup, and I can see the appeal for anyone who uses the Live services. Personally though, I don't see how it could merit anything antitrust related. It's not going to be shoved down your throat as it were, and seeing as there's a GPO for it, it's fair to say it'll be able to be disabled. Not even a unique concept, some other OS's already have similar functionality, say Apple's MobileMe or Ubuntu One for example, just nicely integrated into the OS.. if you don't like it, then don't use it.

Gaurav Agrawal said,
Microsoft is integrating various MS products and technologies like Live Login, Mail Client, Mesh to Windows 8, which is good for users. But it will result in many antitrust suits against Microsoft.

Balmer said that Windows 8 is companies riskiest bet, I guess it's not just about usability changes (Metro) but also about political consequences.

The writing has been on the wall for years for stuff like this, but I'm glad to know that Microsoft can finally read.

I think there is a way for Microsoft to use Windows Azure to allow 3rd party service providers (ex. cloud storage providers) to integrate with these OS features.

Jen Smith said,

It's an interesting setup, and I can see the appeal for anyone who uses the Live services. Personally though, I don't see how it could merit anything antitrust related. It's not going to be shoved down your throat as it were, and seeing as there's a GPO for it, it's fair to say it'll be able to be disabled. Not even a unique concept, some other OS's already have similar functionality, say Apple's MobileMe or Ubuntu One for example, just nicely integrated into the OS.. if you don't like it, then don't use it.

Ubuntu is open-source, so no one cares to sue them. Apple is also safe because it's manufacturer for all Mac Products, and OEMs' are free to install whatever crap they want...

Gaurav Agrawal said,
OEMs' are free to install whatever crap they want...

Exactly, not a monopoly. And if they install Windows, you can still install whatever crap you want, again no monopoly. There isn't some hidden "kill competition" code in the OS.

Either MS is screwed because they add new features and there's cries of "monopoly" or "they ripped off _____", or they're screwed because they don't add new features and then its "Evil M$ wanting my money but doesn't give us anything besides the core OS."

Honestly they should come out with Windows 8 AntiTrust Edition, which is essentially Server Core updated for home use, with zero applications whatsoever and charge next to nothing for it. No browser, no media players, no cloud, hell no Notepad, just in case a competing app gets mad. Would put an end to this silliness.

Gaurav Agrawal said,
Microsoft is integrating various MS products and technologies like Live Login, Mail Client, Mesh to Windows 8, which is good for users. But it will result in many antitrust suits against Microsoft.

Balmer said that Windows 8 is companies riskiest bet, I guess it's not just about usability changes (Metro) but also about political consequences.

There isn't anything of potential that would cross the anti-trust concerns.

First the Live Online features are optional, and could be provided by another company if the other company is willing to engineer and replicate the features. (Google and others could be doing this now if they want, there is nothing to prevent them from creating this type of integrated sevice with Win7 now.)

Live Mesh (or features like Mesh) were present in Windows in another form when the anti-trust ruling happened, and it was not of concern.

Mail also was integrated with the anti-trust happened, and again, was not an issue.

I'm sure they will get some legal challenges, probably more from the EU, but I don't think it will amount to anything. Even the N versions in Europe have proven that Microsoft was right in that it doesn't matter to the consumers, and the majority buy non-N versions or go online to obtain the removed features.

Gaurav Agrawal said,
Microsoft is integrating various MS products and technologies like Live Login, Mail Client, Mesh to Windows 8, which is good for users. But it will result in many antitrust suits against Microsoft.

Balmer said that Windows 8 is companies riskiest bet, I guess it's not just about usability changes (Metro) but also about political consequences.

yeah, including all the stuff they removed in windows 7... in vista people complained that stuff was in there, so they took it out in 7, now its going back in and people are happy? I don't get people

Gaurav Agrawal said,
Microsoft is integrating various MS products and technologies like Live Login, Mail Client, Mesh to Windows 8, which is good for users. But it will result in many antitrust suits against Microsoft.

Balmer said that Windows 8 is companies riskiest bet, I guess it's not just about usability changes (Metro) but also about political consequences.


Everyone screams antitrust, and no doubt competitors and third-party software makers will too, as MS continues to add features (built-in pdf reader, iso mounting, online syncing) that should have made into Win7 to begin with but omitted, because MS probably felt the superbar and other UI changes were already overwhelming for users. But as others have mentioned, all of these features are optional despite their deep integration, which is no different from Apple integrating its products onto OSX. Is the user more likely to use those feature because it is already there? Yes. Do they have to? No. Besides, MS spends millions on a top-notch legal team. I doubt they would have added these features without having it vetted beforehand and taking necessary precautions.

Jen Smith said,

Exactly, not a monopoly. And if they install Windows, you can still install whatever crap you want, again no monopoly. There isn't some hidden "kill competition" code in the OS.

Either MS is screwed because they add new features and there's cries of "monopoly" or "they ripped off _____", or they're screwed because they don't add new features and then its "Evil M$ wanting my money but doesn't give us anything besides the core OS."

Honestly they should come out with Windows 8 AntiTrust Edition, which is essentially Server Core updated for home use, with zero applications whatsoever and charge next to nothing for it. No browser, no media players, no cloud, hell no Notepad, just in case a competing app gets mad. Would put an end to this silliness.

This might be the smartest thing I've ever heard.