Windows 8 to include automated cloud backup, Live services integration

Microsoft is hard at work on Windows 8 and as we approach the suggested 2012 release date, little bits of information about what to expect from the new OS will start to leak out. Microsoft has posted two new job listings on its site that gives a good clue as to what we can expect when Windows 8 launches. 

According to Windows8news.com, Microsoft posted a new job listing that states:

"We are currently working on a Windows Azure-based service and integrating with certain Microsoft online services and Windows 8 client backup. Many of the features we develop have ended up in the Windows Client and Windows Server OSes."

The job posting does leave a lot to speculate but its safe to say that Microsoft is working on a way to integrate cloud based backup solutions as an option in Windows 8. Another job listing states that Microsoft is looking to further embed its Live services into Windows 8 too:

"Want to work on products that your friends and family use every day? Windows Live designs and runs some of the largest web applications in the world. We are Cloud Directory Platform, and our services are used by Windows Live, Office, Windows Mobile, Xbox, Bing, and MSN-branded properties. We are the backend of Windows Live providing identity (LiveID), contacts (ABCH), and social graph (SUP) for individuals and Microsoft services and applications. For the most part, you would know these as Messenger and Hotmail, as well as the entire Windows Live suite. We are seeking a highly motivated individual to come join our team and pour passion and talent into building some of the most used services on the planet. We are a growing team with a strategic and highly visible charter helping to build and operate some of Microsoft’s most strategic Internet assets. Our service supports hundreds of millions of users, who exchange billions of instant messages, photos and email each day, and store billions of contact relationships in our service. We live the life of “software and a service” every day, at high scale and you will play a pivotal role as we integrate our online services with Windows 8."

These little bits of information dont provide much detail about Windows 8 but do provide a general sense of direction. It's safe to say that we will probably see deep integration for cloud based backup solutions as well as Live integration into the Windows 8 platform. As the technology world moves forward, the line between Internet and desktop OS becomes a little bit more obscure. 

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I just hope they stick with Aero, and don't bring in WP7's plain MSpaint sold fill tiles with plain text in them. =S

I don't know what their online 'backup' plans might be, but Microsoft has talked about using roaming profiles through their Live services for a few years. (Win7 was to have this feature, but when Win7 was pushed forward to replace Vista as fast as possible it was moved to Win8)

Corporations have been doing this with their servers and desktop clients since the mid 90s with Windows. Roaming profiles allows a user to sign into any network computer, and all their files and settings are automatically available, even if the user has never used the computer before, and these changes and settings follow them to any computer. It is a massive time saver for both the users and the IT staff.

Live Mesh gives a taste of this now with user's favorites, Office Settings, and any folder they share. So think along these lines, but more automated.

vette said,
What I hope: Windows 8 does NOT have a Metro UI

The Metro UI has been in Windows since WindowsXP Media Center Edition, just open Windows Media Center.

Seriously though, some concepts of the Metro UI are a part of both Vista and Win7 with the move to killing off of menu bars and other subtle concepts in the OS.

It would be stupid to go completely Metro UIish, but it would not be a bad idea to offer an alternative shell or overlay shell that is Metro/Surface UI based for tablet and touch users that have no need for the flexibility of Explorer, unless they want to.

With the automated file system and document management features in Win7 for example, most average users just launch and flip between applications, and why not offer them a simplistic UI if they want?

Backing up a 1 TB HDD to the cloud should be fun!

I honestly don't trust putting all my files on an online server from some company in the first place, where they can access everything if they wanted to. Whether it's Microsoft, Apple, Google or someone else... Not to mention the fact it happened more than once that their servers fail and people lost their files.

.Neo said,
Backing up a 1 TB HDD to the cloud should be fun!

I honestly don't trust putting all my files on an online server from some company in the first place, where they can access everything if they wanted to. Whether it's Microsoft, Apple, Google or someone else... Not to mention the fact it happened more than once that their servers fail and people lost their files.

I suspect this will be many clueless users' encounter with monthly transfer caps.

.Neo said,
Backing up a 1 TB HDD to the cloud should be fun!

I honestly don't trust putting all my files on an online server from some company in the first place, where they can access everything if they wanted to. Whether it's Microsoft, Apple, Google or someone else... Not to mention the fact it happened more than once that their servers fail and people lost their files.


Little paranoid, are we? I do get your point, but out of all other solutions, like external HDD, tape, etc., this is the safest way. And from all those companies, I do trust Microsoft the most for my backup. Yes, their servers might fail, but if they're offering backup services, I'm sure they have backups for backups.

TDT said,

Little paranoid, are we? I do get your point, but out of all other solutions, like external HDD, tape, etc., this is the safest way. And from all those companies, I do trust Microsoft the most for my backup. Yes, their servers might fail, but if they're offering backup services, I'm sure they have backups for backups.

Lol yeah, cause Microsoft gives a damn about you, enough to look through your files.

Owen W said,

Lol yeah, cause Microsoft gives a damn about you, enough to look through your files.

Don't be so naive. You can already see online web services adapting their ads based on the subjects of your emails and interest. Microsoft, and others, can learn a great deal of commercially interesting stuff about you by indexing the contents of your files. So yeah, companies like Microsoft do care.

TDT said,
Yes, their servers might fail, but if they're offering backup services, I'm sure they have backups for backups.

Not too long ago there was a front page article here about Microsoft servers failing and data of users being lost.

I already have a great system level backup / file sharing solution with Windows Home Server. For me, Local is always better. But I imagine that some of the WHS technology will find its way to Live services/etc. That would be decent for basic needs. If they decide to go that route, I sure do hope they allow users augment cloud storage capacity with local network storage devices.

I think that Microsoft is up for something really special with windows 8. I know that they have learned a lot from the mistakes with windows Vista. I am actually waiting how the cloud integration will be implemented with windows. windows wave 4 is a good start.

The Black Mamba said,
I think that Microsoft is up for something really special with windows 8. I know that they have learned a lot from the mistakes with windows Vista. I am actually waiting how the cloud integration will be implemented with windows. windows wave 4 is a good start.

What mistakes with Windows Vista? I don't remember any.

Owen W said,

What mistakes with Windows Vista? I don't remember any.

These aren't the ones he is talking about (the ones he is talking about don't exist) but Microsoft should have:
Required stronger hardware on computers Preloaded with Vista
Gave NVIDIA and ATI some more time to make drivers (I don't know if this was possible, or if it was just NVIDIA and ATI being incompetent)

hagjohn said,
I'd rather have it optional. Less with options is better than something your never going to use, IMO.

I'm sure it will be.

Owen W said,

I'm sure it will be.

Yeah, I can't imagine this being mandatory. It wouldn't make sense, and would really upset the business users...

wait we had live stuff in windows vista, then MS removed it now its coming back? I know its not all the same stuff, but I thought MS's opinnion on this stuff was keep it seperate?

neufuse said,
wait we had live stuff in windows vista, then MS removed it now its coming back? I know its not all the same stuff, but I thought MS's opinnion on this stuff was keep it seperate?

no we don't!

windows Massanger got removed since vista
then they remove
photo gallery
Moviemaker
contactlist?
..etc

and then they made the live suite

Would be pretty awesome to have integration with online services. The main thing is figuring out how to integrate it while not having any anti-trust suits bite them in the ass. I think if they are smart about it they can incorporate some sort of API/framework/protocol to allow competitors to tie in their solutions as well.

While it may seem bad for their own sake to give the competition an opportunity it is at the same time a good thing. Competition developing custom solutions for a specific OS (Windows) means the competition is at least partially invested in the platform and people go where the developers/companies go. Also competition as a whole spurs innovation and is an awesome thing

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

Owen W said,

No, it's not just a browser that looks like a OS

not what i ment
it sounds similar in the aspect that it will mostly try to store ur data online

sweet5695 said,

not what i ment
it sounds similar in the aspect that it will mostly try to store ur data online


And it sounds different in the fact that you wont have to store ur data online if you dont want to.

This wont be like Chrome OS at all.

Fritzly said,
No thanks; GB/$ are very cheap nowadays...... I backup in house and I will keep doing it.
+1 same here

Fritzly said,
No thanks; GB/$ are very cheap nowadays...... I backup in house and I will keep doing it.

And then your house burns down.

Fritzly said,
No thanks; GB/$ are very cheap nowadays...... I backup in house and I will keep doing it.

I work at home. Integrated cloud storage of work files will be great. Not everyone just has music to back up.

ew2x4 said,

I work at home. Integrated cloud storage of work files will be great. Not everyone just has music to back up.

True, Porn is much more important........ Seriously there are a lot of companies that cannot backup on the cloud and are required to do it, or through certified and authorized companies, in house by law.

SK[ said,]

And then your house burns down.


And then Microsoft's data farm burns down... What's your point here?

.Neo said,

And then Microsoft's data farm burns down... What's your point here?

Well, If microsoft really starts backing up service then they will keep at least 2 copies of ur files in different locations like others do. So burning or earthquake is not a problem.

.Neo said,

And then Microsoft's data farm burns down... What's your point here?

You comparing Microsoft's data farm safe-security with his house?
im pretty sure his house is already burned anyway

I don't think Carbonite will be too happy to hear about a cloud based backup solution built into Windows, as much as we would all want one. I would love to be able to login to my PC with my Live ID, and a local user account linked, and have my email, calendar, personalised settings for various browsers and apps, and for this to potentially be available to any Windows machine you log into.

martinDTanderson said,
I don't think Carbonite will be too happy to hear about a cloud based backup solution built into Windows, as much as we would all want one. I would love to be able to login to my PC with my Live ID, and a local user account linked, and have my email, calendar, personalised settings for various browsers and apps, and for this to potentially be available to any Windows machine you log into.

It would be fantastic

I think the Live integration they have in mind isn't with the apps per se but with tying your Live ID to your Windows login ID so that they're the same. Then when you install Live Mail or Messanger etc it'll just grab the settings and everything from the Live service and you're done. It'll make desktop Windows more like WP7 in that sense, it'd also let you save your personal settings up in the cloud so when you reinstall or get a new PC you just login and after you reinstall any apps you had before it'll just pull down all your settings as well.

This is what Im hoping for. Computers are becoming more personal like phones so when that happens, it is time to integrate with a personal cloud account.

You still need to accommodate the shared computers though.

GP007 said,
I think the Live integration they have in mind isn't with the apps per se but with tying your Live ID to your Windows login ID so that they're the same. Then when you install Live Mail or Messanger etc it'll just grab the settings and everything from the Live service and you're done. It'll make desktop Windows more like WP7 in that sense, it'd also let you save your personal settings up in the cloud so when you reinstall or get a new PC you just login and after you reinstall any apps you had before it'll just pull down all your settings as well.

Yeah, I agree, plus if they do enable an app store like it was rumored, they would need to easily handle authentication for purchases and things, which would also likely use LiveID...

GP007 said,
I think the Live integration they have in mind isn't with the apps per se but with tying your Live ID to your Windows login ID so that they're the same. Then when you install Live Mail or Messanger etc it'll just grab the settings and everything from the Live service and you're done. It'll make desktop Windows more like WP7 in that sense, it'd also let you save your personal settings up in the cloud so when you reinstall or get a new PC you just login and after you reinstall any apps you had before it'll just pull down all your settings as well.

Cant wait to see the new viruses, lol

Im all for Windows being improved, just wish it wasn't with "wow factors" that burn out quickly. give us more control over the mass amount of files we now hold, more choice when it comes to toolbars and tagging of files. I need some core upgrades, I can get the cloud storage etc from other free third party services which will be better and upgraded faster. Nothing against MS, we just know their stuff is going to be basic (for the basic users) so I don't need their new services, just need the Windows core features improved.

Orange Battery said,
Im all for Windows being improved, just wish it wasn't with "wow factors" that burn out quickly. give us more control over the mass amount of files we now hold, more choice when it comes to toolbars and tagging of files. I need some core upgrades, I can get the cloud storage etc from other free third party services which will be better and upgraded faster. Nothing against MS, we just know their stuff is going to be basic (for the basic users) so I don't need their new services, just need the Windows core features improved.

Perhaps it will be the core. MSFT is moving towards the cloud, and this is the fundamental first step.

I think it would be nice if Microsoft gave you a certain (generous) amount of online backup/storage based on the version of Windows 8 you purchase

BoyBoppins said,
No thanks. Give people essentially as much as you can handle like Gmail. Most can't fill it up anyways.

MS won't do that. There will be way too many HD videos, pictures, and music uploaded to their servers to make it unlimited

BoyBoppins said,
A large amount should be given and be upgradable if reached. But it should not be part of the OS. Too much confusion.

I agree, except for the confusion part. I think that we should wait and see before reaching any conclusions. I think MS has something here, and it'll be interesting to see what they come up with.

Like telling them they can't include software that helps subsidize the cost of the computer? I doubt they would. I mean, I hate bloatware so don't get me wrong. I just don't see them doing that with their desktop OS.

Live account integration for each computer, built into the OS! Kind of like all the Mobile OS's are doing. I like it!

As of now integration with the cloud is not easy. By putting a live account on each computer user it would be much better/easier and more used.

BoyBoppins said,
Hopefully Microsoft puts some WP7 like restrictions on manufacturers to kill some bloatware.

I'm hoping they ensure all applications running on Windows 8 conform to Windows 8's design (just like they do with Windows Phone 7); however, due to the amount of Windows programs out there at the moment, I really doubt they will

BoyBoppins said,
Hopefully Microsoft puts some WP7 like restrictions on manufacturers to kill some bloatware.

Oh please oh please oh please

From the company that requires the Bing bar to be preloaded if you want to preload Office? I suppose it's possible but it's going to take a bit of work within Microsoft and a *lot* of negotiations with the OEMs.

Owen W said,

Oh please oh please oh please

+1,000,000! I hate the bloat that Dell and others put on computers! There is no reason for it! Just include a set of discs and let us install what we want! lol. That way the computer actually boots up prior to the year 3030 when we first buy it!

winlonghorn said,

+1,000,000! I hate the bloat that Dell and others put on computers! There is no reason for it! Just include a set of discs and let us install what we want! lol. That way the computer actually boots up prior to the year 3030 when we first buy it!

I still think the HP "action center" is the worst and just sits on the top and is set to auto boot.. it lags worse then any program i have ever seen. And they put it on the worst laptops ever..

Calum said,

I'm hoping they ensure all applications running on Windows 8 conform to Windows 8's design (just like they do with Windows Phone 7); however, due to the amount of Windows programs out there at the moment, I really doubt they will

It would be nice if at least MS actually kept to their own ui guidelines.

random_n said,
From the company that requires the Bing bar to be preloaded if you want to preload Office? I suppose it's possible but it's going to take a bit of work within Microsoft and a *lot* of negotiations with the OEMs.

Not if you 'want' to preload Office, but if you want to preload Office 2010 Starter for $2 instead of $5 and not use the free 60day trial.

It also isn't requiring the 'bing bar' per say, but requiring the installation of Live Essentials. As for the Bing Bar, it has to be installed, but it does not have to be enabled in the browser.

And again, this is just for OEMs that are wanting a cheap way to get a full version of Office 2010 Starter to their customers for virtually nothing. If they want, they can shove Office 2010 Professional Plus on the systems and pay the OEM cost, or install OpenOffice and pay nothing and not have to install Live Essentials for the users.

Either way, OEMs have full choice over what they do. (They did in the 90s too; however some were greedy and entered into exclusive contracts to save a few $$ per copy of Windows and they later complained about it. A lot of OEMs never entered in these contracts, as they would rather eat the few $$ per copy and give their users the ability to buy systems without an OS or another OS.)

Also worth noting:
1) Most users install Live Essentials anyway, as they want the applications.
2) Live Essentials is far from bloatware, as most of the Applications shipped in the box with prior versions of Windows.

BoyBoppins said,
Hopefully Microsoft puts some WP7 like restrictions on manufacturers to kill some bloatware.

My god, that would be wonderful. I really hate the nonsense some of the OEM's put on new computers...

BoyBoppins said,
Hopefully Microsoft puts some WP7 like restrictions on manufacturers to kill some bloatware.
Wouldn't that mean they'd have to kill WLM?

winlonghorn said,

+1,000,000! I hate the bloat that Dell and others put on computers! There is no reason for it! Just include a set of discs and let us install what we want! lol. That way the computer actually boots up prior to the year 3030 when we first buy it!

that bloat makes your PC cost 20% - 40% less than a Mac. That bloat can easily be removed.

Hope to see consumer friendly azure pricing for storage. I've been using Edgecast myself since its only .08/gig storage and the transfers are fairly affordable but i'd love to store all my tv/music/media on the cloud and stream it from anywhere and thats when it starts to add up

blahism said,
Hope to see consumer friendly azure pricing for storage. I've been using Edgecast myself since its only .08/gig storage and the transfers are fairly affordable but i'd love to store all my tv/music/media on the cloud and stream it from anywhere and thats when it starts to add up
I doubt it will be that cheap, seeing as the developer has to do all the integration and calls to the service, while this will be a service built in to Windows.

Mr aldo said,
I doubt it will be that cheap, seeing as the developer has to do all the integration and calls to the service, while this will be a service built in to Windows.

I bet, cheap or free (not really, but rolled into the cost for the version of 8 you buy, because of volume versions) from a set time period on activation, then pay as you go. Once this is setup, xbox, live, Office 365, Win phone 8.2 can crossover easy. Race to cloud domination +1 MS, +0 GOOG, -1 OSX. One software to rule the world...

Embeded live? Isn't it unfair for microsoft to include software that they wrote in their OS? Lets get the EU involved now!

AgentGray said,
Embeded live? Isn't it unfair for microsoft to include software that they wrote in their OS? Lets get the EU involved now!

Depends on what kind of integration we're talking about. If they're going to offer a feature nobody else has, I dont see the harm

Julius Caro said,

Depends on what kind of integration we're talking about. If they're going to offer a feature nobody else has, I dont see the harm

His comment was purely sarcastic.

Julius Caro said,

Depends on what kind of integration we're talking about. If they're going to offer a feature nobody else has, I dont see the harm

Err, yes, that's why their kernel protection system was welcome with open arms--oh wait. Microsoft should be able to include whatever the hell they want.

AgentGray said,

Err, yes, that's why their kernel protection system was welcome with open arms--oh wait. Microsoft should be able to include whatever the hell they want.

They should be able to, but they can't w/ US and EU oversight.

Shadrack said,

They should be able to, but they can't w/ US and EU oversight.

No, remove US, they could have cared less about the browser thing.

AgentGray said,
Embeded live? Isn't it unfair for microsoft to include software that they wrote in their OS? Lets get the EU involved now!

Microsoft is integrating a feature every other major OS has already integrated? Anti-competitive! It better have a ballot screen where I can choose to use Ubuntu One instead!

Joshie said,

Microsoft is integrating a feature every other major OS has already integrated? Anti-competitive! It better have a ballot screen where I can choose to use Ubuntu One instead!

LMAO!

AgentGray said,
Embeded live? Isn't it unfair for microsoft to include software that they wrote in their OS? Lets get the EU involved now!

European, I'm an American.