Windows 8 to go full cloud, Skydrive gets deep integration

Ready for an OS-wide cloud experience? Then you'll love what's in store for Windows 8. Today's update on the Building Windows 8 blog covers the present, the future, and everything in-between, with details of the new Metro-based Skydrive app, the web-based experience, and oh yes, the desktop app for classic desktop users and those on Windows Vista and 7.

As Microsoft explains, the Metro app, which is built on WinRT and written using web technologies (Javascript, HTML, and CSS), will be available to any Metro application via the OS's file picker. That's right - OS-wide. Better yet, since it's built on web technologies, Microsoft expects the Metro and web versions to eventually converge and reach feature parity at some point in the near future.

Skydrive cloud space will be automatically offered to any application opening documents or photos, so no extra work on the developer's part is needed. It will also be available as a Sharing contract for users to quickly invoke on the new Charms bar.

As for desktop users? They'll get an almost Dropbox-esque experience, with the ability to sync individual files up to 2 GB in size - up from the rumoured 300 MB from earlier today. There is a sync status icon beside each file, and of course, the ability to purchase more space when necessary. Skydrive on the desktop will effectively replace Live Mesh. It is expected the same offering of 25 GB of free Skydrive space will remain intact.

The Skydrive applications will be available for public consumption around the release of the Consumer Preview at the end of this month.

Image Credit: Building Windows 8 blog

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Thank god... Looks like ill be moving to Win 8 very quickly

Lets hope they some way bring the SkyDrive to Explorer in Win7 sooner tho

"Hey, can I disable the Metro UI?" "Hey, can I disable the Ribbon?" "Hey, can I disable SkyDrive?" If y'all keep this up, you might as well stick with Win 7...

Hey, can I remove the optimizations in Win 8 that make it boot so fast? Makes it too hard to troll Win 8. You know, in the name of liberty, and freedom, and people, and... stuff...

Till now using MS we had 5GB available for data automatically synced by mesh, plus the "regular" space on SkyDrive.
My understanding is that with W8 we will be able to automatically sync up to 25GB of data; is it correct?
TIA

Fritzly said,
Till now using MS we had 5GB available for data automatically synced by mesh, plus the "regular" space on SkyDrive.
My understanding is that with W8 we will be able to automatically sync up to 25GB of data; is it correct?
TIA

your Free storage space is 25G you will be able to upload until you reach your space limit which is 25G
EACH folder/file you upload to SkyDrive must be 2G file size
if you want extra storage you will have to pay for it Yearly
its a win win case

techguy77 said,
Something i predicted 4 years ago, i am genius.

Okay, so when you asked if there was anything in Win 8 besides Metro, & I used this as 1 of the examples, why did you ignore me?

MASTER260 said,

Okay, so when you asked if there was anything in Win 8 besides Metro, & I used this as 1 of the examples, why did you ignore me?

I really don't find this as something new. I already do it using Windows 7 however now it is part of Windows Explorer.

Speaking of SkyDrive, the image gallery experience on the site is much nicer than the one in Explorer.

I wish they would actually improve Explorer to make it a modern media browser and media management app, and not just stick a ribbon on it.

brianshapiro said,
Speaking of SkyDrive, the image gallery experience on the site is much nicer than the one in Explorer.

I wish they would actually improve Explorer to make it a modern media browser and media management app, and not just stick a ribbon on it.

It's a file management app. They have apps for your media

burnblue said,

It's a file management app. They have apps for your media

You don't think viewing thumbnails and metadata in a file management app are relevant?

Even if you look at the media apps in Windows, they're very limited in media management. Media management would be centered around things creating metadata and attaching it to files, like Expression Media, before it was dropped, and Adobe Bridge/Lightroom. Hopefully XML metadata will come back, something that was planned for WFS. Even if they added more media management, its essentially silly to completely separate it from the file explorer.

But just as a visual interface, Explorer hasn't improved. The Immersive UI file explorer is even prettier and more cleanly organized than the desktop explorer. SkyDrive is prettier than explorer.

The ribbon isn't really adding that much, and they're not even implementing the nicest looking version of it.

brianshapiro said,
Speaking of SkyDrive, the image gallery experience on the site is much nicer than the one in Explorer.

I wish they would actually improve Explorer to make it a modern media browser and media management app, and not just stick a ribbon on it.

Microsoft did this once, it was called Win98. The entire Explorer was an HTML based interface, and users could even design their own Apps and Web Pages for view folder contents, and it had HTML slideshow and other features built into in.

However, it is also a security nightmare, which is why WinRT offers HTML Apps and experiences, yet is locked in a tight security sandbox.

Win98 was brilliant and far ahead of its time, but most people never used the HTML features, as most people couldn't write HTML Apps or ever understood how to utilized the technology.

Win98 was also at the heart of the IE arguments in the US vs Microsoft Antitrust, and created a lot of confusion from ignorance, and people wanted Microsoft to stop doing this.

im somewhat interested in seeing how Windows 8 goes. I do not like the new GUI, i think its over done and too much. Plan and simple! But the way that windows 8 is moving towards should be interesting.

=lflashl said,. I do not like the new GUI, i think its over done and too much. Plan and simple.

how its both over done and too much and yet simple and plane?

S3P€hR said,

how its both over done and too much and yet simple and plane?

sorry i meant they should keep it plan and simple! and that the new GUI is over done too much on there and more of a mess!

Question: will you be able to deactive this globally? I don`t want my stuff to get automatically uploaded to a cloud service, particularly because we have prohibitive download/upload caps here in Qc.. I would personnally prefer to not use this feature at all...

djesteban said,
Question: will you be able to deactive this globally? I don`t want my stuff to get automatically uploaded to a cloud service, particularly because we have prohibitive download/upload caps here in Qc.. I would personnally prefer to not use this feature at all...

I know that you can turn off automatically uploading photos to SkyDrive on Windows Phone through settings. So, I assume the same setting will be available on the main OS as well.

djesteban said,
Question: will you be able to deactive this globally? I don`t want my stuff to get automatically uploaded to a cloud service, particularly because we have prohibitive download/upload caps here in Qc.. I would personnally prefer to not use this feature at all...

Nothing gets automatically uploaded anyway unless you explicitly allow it too.

djesteban said,
Question: will you be able to deactive this globally? I don`t want my stuff to get automatically uploaded to a cloud service, particularly because we have prohibitive download/upload caps here in Qc.. I would personnally prefer to not use this feature at all...

Don't download the app, use the website, problem solved. And nothing actually gets automatically uploaded, in any case.

djesteban said,
Question: will you be able to deactive this globally? I don`t want my stuff to get automatically uploaded to a cloud service, particularly because we have prohibitive download/upload caps here in Qc.. I would personnally prefer to not use this feature at all...

No-one reads anymore..

Microsoft isn't automatically uploading your stuff

2GB synced space? Microsoft is pretty generous this time /s. Hell what's up with their limits? Even Mesh has only 5GB, Skydrive would over 25GB…
Glad I have my home server up and running…

MFH said,
2GB synced space? Microsoft is pretty generous this time /s. Hell what's up with their limits? Even Mesh has only 5GB, Skydrive would over 25GB…
Glad I have my home server up and running…

Instead of addressing what may be poor reading comprehension skills, I will simply say: it is 2GB PER FILE (i.e., the maximum size of a synced file is 2GB).

EDIT: It actually says "with the ability to sync files up to 2 GB in size" so perhaps it could be written more clearly, but the logical inference is still 2GB per file.

MFH said,
2GB synced space? Microsoft is pretty generous this time /s. Hell what's up with their limits? Even Mesh has only 5GB, Skydrive would over 25GB…
Glad I have my home server up and running…

That's the individual file size limit, not the total space available.

MFH said,
2GB synced space? Microsoft is pretty generous this time /s. Hell what's up with their limits? Even Mesh has only 5GB, Skydrive would over 25GB…
Glad I have my home server up and running…

Max size of a file that can be uploaded is 2GB.

MFH said,
2GB synced space? Microsoft is pretty generous this time /s. Hell what's up with their limits? Even Mesh has only 5GB, Skydrive would over 25GB…
Glad I have my home server up and running…

You know what's awesome though, is that you can still have your files locally and access them through Skydrive. So you can keep your home server running and two-factor authenticate to get to your files remotely.

Denis W said,
Clarified. Should be more clear now

Also Skydrive limit is 25GB, inside the article, the picture is showing 75GB

Anthonyd said,

Also Skydrive limit is 25GB, inside the article, the picture is showing 75GB

There will be a tiered paid storage option. The first 25GB is free, but if you want additional storage you can pay a monthly fee for it.

pack34 said,

There will be a tiered paid storage option. The first 25GB is free, but if you want additional storage you can pay a monthly fee for it.

Monthly? I thought it was yearly. But I can be wrong.

Palpatine said,
Monthly? I thought it was yearly. But I can be wrong.

he is wrong and you're correct they will charge you for extra storage YEARLY

subcld said,

he is wrong and you're correct they will charge you for extra storage YEARLY

Ah, my bad. The page I saw about it was in another language and I had assumed it would be a monthly fee.

Interesting. I hope this can be disabled from within apps. I don't imagine a lot of corporate customers would want things from their apps going out to the cloud...

M_Lyons10 said,
Interesting. I hope this can be disabled from within apps. I don't imagine a lot of corporate customers would want things from their apps going out to the cloud...

Corporate customers won't worry much as most of them don't allow/restrict Internet connections from internal networks.

M_Lyons10 said,
Interesting. I hope this can be disabled from within apps. I don't imagine a lot of corporate customers would want things from their apps going out to the cloud...
I would be shocked if there were not a Group Policy to restrict access to it, if not disable it outright. After all, there are Group Policies in place to disable Windows Update as well as to push out Internet Proxy Settings.

Waiting to see how Skydrive offers sharing of public links from the shell.

Dropbox also has pretty decent collaboration and is available on lots of platforms (minus WP7 for now). I would think they're fine. What's stopping Dropbox from upping their free space?

Denis W said,
Waiting to see how Skydrive offers sharing of public links from the shell.

Dropbox also has pretty decent collaboration and is available on lots of platforms (minus WP7 for now). I would think they're fine. What's stopping Dropbox from upping their free space?

If you look at the Win8 video on Explorer, one function of the Ribbon is 'sharing' that works locally and with online features. So you can share a file through an email and send it, send it through SkyDrive, along with the traditional 'share' over your local network features.

Possession said,
This will be the fall of Dropbox, why settle for 2GB free when you can get 25GB.

Dropbox has an integration advantage. There are a ton of apps integrating with Dropbox for Android, iOS, Windows, and OS X. I'm rarely working at a Windows desktop these days - mostly only at work and when I do photo post-processing / imports at home. For all other situations, it's tablet or phone.

Also, Dropbox may very well adapt to the competition, like Microsoft did with Hotmail soon after Gmail was released.

thenetavenger said,

If you look at the Win8 video on Explorer, one function of the Ribbon is 'sharing' that works locally and with online features. So you can share a file through an email and send it, send it through SkyDrive, along with the traditional 'share' over your local network features.

By sharing I meant the ability to quickly grab a public URL and paste it anywhere I like.

I understand you can do that right now for Skydrive, but there's an intermediate step to confirm your download.

I see lawsuits coming at MS way if Skydrive is as integrated as Internet Explorer was in Windows!

They will need to give APIs for other cloud storage solutions like dropbox!


parisp said,
I see lawsuits coming at MS way if Skydrive is as integrated as Internet Explorer was in Windows!

They will need to give APIs for other cloud storage solutions like dropbox!


Dropbox can use contracts to offer themselves as a storage location. Don't see the casevfor lawsuits.

parisp said,
I see lawsuits coming at MS way if Skydrive is as integrated as Internet Explorer was in Windows!

They will need to give APIs for other cloud storage solutions like dropbox!



Then you haven't been following Windows 8 very closely... those APIs are already there.

subcld said,

More like bye bye dropbox and live mesh too me

well me too, but its not exactly bye bye mesh, more hello matured mesh

From the comments Sinofsky clarified the SkyDrive folder on windows. This can be a library and you point the library to the folders you want. This way you can pick out specific folders such as Pictures, Documents and Desktop to keep them all synced with SkyDrive.

This seems to be the end of Live mesh. Instead of syncing directly between two computers you use the cloud as an intermediary.

pack34 said,
From the comments Sinofsky clarified the SkyDrive folder on windows. This can be a library and you point the library to the folders you want. This way you can pick out specific folders such as Pictures, Documents and Desktop to keep them all synced with SkyDrive.

This seems to be the end of Live mesh. Instead of syncing directly between two computers you use the cloud as an intermediary.

That's good news. Was kinda dreading using symbolic links, heh.

pack34 said,
From the comments Sinofsky clarified the SkyDrive folder on windows. This can be a library and you point the library to the folders you want. This way you can pick out specific folders such as Pictures, Documents and Desktop to keep them all synced with SkyDrive.

You're clouding what was said. SkyDrive is one folder, like DropBox. You can manage your Libraries in Explorer to put SkyDrive\Pictures in your Pictures library, SkyDrive\Documents in your Documents Library, etc. Just like with DropBox today.

Either read the blog entry from Microsoft or GTFO. This isn't full cloud, in fact everywhere there is a cloud option it is completely optional...

Examples?
1. Want to sign into Windows using your live ID? Hmm, how about no. Okay then.
2. Where to save these items? File Picker offers SkyDrive or etc, hmm well I no not SkyDrive. Okay then.
3. Don't want SkyDrive on desktop? Well then good, it's not included. It's a stand-alone download from SkyDrive.com.
4. Don't want your apps, IE10 browsing history, etc, all saved to SkyDrive? Well that's an option in the Settings app.

These are all examples of scenarios in Windows 8 where Windows has an option for utilizing SkyDrive to save or get stuff from. In all these cases, SkyDrive isn't forced on you at all, in fact it was partly designed around people like you, people who do not want the to deal with the cloud at all. Period.

Microsoft never went full cloud, but it's a little obvious why they are heading towards the direction of it. Maybe because Apple has iCloud heavily built into the iOS and Mountain Lion experience. Or because there are more DropBox users than there are of SkyDrive users. And because it was time to compete and get SkyDrive out in the open with iCloud and DropBox.

All I can say is take a chill pill, I'm happy about the changes Microsoft is making. I want SkyDrive features, and I'm sure you'll be happy to know you can just uninstall the app and not install the SkyDrive Desktop app at all, and choose to use a local account instead of signing in with a Windows Live ID.

Sionic Ion said,
Either read the blog entry from Microsoft or GTFO. This isn't full cloud, in fact everywhere there is a cloud option it is completely optional...

Examples?
1. Want to sign into Windows using your live ID? Hmm, how about no. Okay then.
2. Where to save these items? File Picker offers SkyDrive or etc, hmm well I no not SkyDrive. Okay then.
3. Don't want SkyDrive on desktop? Well then good, it's not included. It's a stand-alone download from SkyDrive.com.
4. Don't want your apps, IE10 browsing history, etc, all saved to SkyDrive? Well that's an option in the Settings app.

These are all examples of scenarios in Windows 8 where Windows has an option for utilizing SkyDrive to save or get stuff from. In all these cases, SkyDrive isn't forced on you at all, in fact it was partly designed around people like you, people who do not want the to deal with the cloud at all. Period.

Microsoft never went full cloud, but it's a little obvious why they are heading towards the direction of it. Maybe because Apple has iCloud heavily built into the iOS and Mountain Lion experience. Or because there are more DropBox users than there are of SkyDrive users. And because it was time to compete and get SkyDrive out in the open with iCloud and DropBox.

All I can say is take a chill pill, I'm happy about the changes Microsoft is making. I want SkyDrive features, and I'm sure you'll be happy to know you can just uninstall the app and not install the SkyDrive Desktop app at all, and choose to use a local account instead of signing in with a Windows Live ID.

I'm sorry, I agree with you on everything you're saying. I'll be using all these features and welcome it. Can't wait to get started but I think it's you that might need that chill pill.

Now that is what I'm talking about! Skydrive is awesome! I just hope they continue improving the web interface too.

yxz said,
"Ready for an OS-wide cloud experience?"
No

+1 I don't think the world is ready either, given how frequent and large data leaks are from major companies. It doesn't seem to be being addressed either... people just endlessly moan about keeping useless data private rather than worrying about the data that is actually worth something.

I hope I'm wrong.

yxz said,
"Ready for an OS-wide cloud experience?"
No

Good thing you can choose not to use it and store files locally. For others, myself included, its a much welcomed feature.

Fourjays said,

+1 I don't think the world is ready either, given how frequent and large data leaks are from major companies. It doesn't seem to be being addressed either... people just endlessly moan about keeping useless data private rather than worrying about the data that is actually worth something.

I hope I'm wrong.

Corporations can manage this the same way as they do now, via group policies preventing those programs from being run or installed at all. And this is no different than current employees having access to email and dropbox on their phone or tablet but a windows machine has the advantage of being manageable via policies.

efjay said,

Corporations can manage this the same way as they do now, via group policies preventing those programs from being run or installed at all. And this is no different than current employees having access to email and dropbox on their phone or tablet but a windows machine has the advantage of being manageable via policies.


I think you've misunderstood my concern. I'm concerned about the increasing amount of data companies are wanting to encourage people to store online and how these companies handle it responsibly. After the PS3 got "hacked", numerous other gaming companies also had their databases compromised within a short space of time... poor passwords or out-of-date server software most likely - no excuse either way (the alternative is an actual hacking attack, which would be even more frightening given how quickly they were all breached). Even if all the data is encrypted (as claimed), it is only any good after a breach and then it could just be a matter of time to crack it.

If everything in the future is to be "in the cloud" then this goes from a "ah well they've got my email" issue to "they've got my identity" issue. Couple it with the apparent push for debit cards/passports/driving licenses on mobile devices and I think there is a disaster waiting to happen... unless you are an identity thief in which case you can probably retire early.

I love technology and enjoy advancement, but as a web developer who has spent months at a time researching security (with regards to my own sites) I am rather worried at how little concern there seems to be about ensuring companies are responsible with data. Instead people worry about a computer scanning emails for keywords and companies looking at your web history. Seems like the wrong focus to me.

To be clear, my concern isn't necessarily with Windows 8's implementation (it is optional as far as I understand it), but where this is leading us.

Jarrichvdv said,

If well-implemented, there are only advantages.

Yes..... as long as users are also able to store documents locally.............

efjay said,

Good thing you can choose not to use it and store files locally. For others, myself included, its a much welcomed feature.

+1000

Fourjays said,

<snip>
To be clear, my concern isn't necessarily with Windows 8's implementation (it is optional as far as I understand it), but where this is leading us.

Totally agree with your concerns.