Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows Division at Microsoft, and Chris Jones, corporate vice president of Windows Live, took to the company's Building Windows 8 blog to detail the cloud service integration that will be featured in Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
In the blog post, Sinofsky and Jones state that the cloud services featured in Windows 8 will serve as an update to Microsoft's Windows Live platform, which has not met Microsoft's expectations of "a truly connected experience." At the forefront of the company's cloud services will be a Microsoft account, which creates an identity to be used across Microsoft services, from the Xbox to SkyDrive and beyond. Microsoft accounts were previously known as Windows Live IDs, although the company will be updating its product lines in the next several months to note the recent branding change. In Windows 8, a user's account settings will roam across PCs via the user's Microsoft account.
Killing the Windows Live name will help eliminate some of the complexity associated with the cloud services offered, Microsoft believes. The "Windows Live" name created confusion among consumers, according to the blog post, as the company used the name to refer to its Windows Live software suite, web-based services, a user's account with Microsoft and other Microsoft products and services.
Microsoft provided a video, seen below, in which Jones promises the new cloud services "rethink Windows Live" to better serve customers. Jones shows how the cloud-based experience of Microsoft services, including SkyDrive and Hotmail, will be the same across the company's platforms and through a web browser. The video also briefly discusses how developers can implement Microsoft's cloud service APIs for their customer service.
Windows 8 and Windows Phone will make use of the following Microsoft cloud services: Microsoft accounts, SkyDrive, Mail/Hotmail, Calendar, People, Messaging and Photos. According to Sinofsky, Windows Live services are currently used by more than 500 million users a month. Additionally, Hotmail has 350 million active users, Messenger has 300 million active users and SkyDrive has 130 million active users.