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Microsoft to take on iCloud with Windows 8-native SkyDrive

updated 02:35 pm EST, Mon February 20, 2012

Microsoft confirms SkyDrive app plans

Microsoft partly confirmed recent rumors with an extensive breakdown of plans for SkyDrive in Windows 8. The service will have a fully Metro-native, touch-aware app in the new OS and will be integrated into the OS, letting any app load and save files to cloud storage. Sharing "charms" in the OS will let users share SkyDrive material directly instead of having to download and attach them first.

Both the conventional Windows 8 desktop, as well as Windows Vista and 7 users, will get their own deeper SkyDrive connections. The previously leaked desktop app will become a rough equivalent to Dropbox, letting users designate a folder where any files are automatically backed up. Although not mentioned, a Mac app had leaked out in the past and could provide the same features without having to use Windows or a web browser.

Everyone will get access to a service that will let them remotely connect to a limited selection of media folders on their computer to fetch something they didn't sync. SkyDrive would add an extra layer of authentication, such as a special code sent by text message or e-mail.

A version of the SkyDrive Metro app will be present in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and should be polished by the finished release late in the year.

The approach draws close parallels with iCloud, which started fully integrating into Apple's platform with updates to OS X Lion as well as iOS 5. The iCloud strategy may be held back by a need to consciously implement support in apps where it's theoretically automatic in Windows 8. As full support for Metro still requires that apps be redesigned or written from scratch to support the new method, however, Lion will still have had roughly a year's head start, albeit with a much smaller 5GB of free storage versus the 25GB Microsoft offers so far.

By Electronista Staff


  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009


    Hello FUD

    Quick. Don't buy anything our competitors are shipping and have working RIGHT NOW because sometime in the future, we will have a competing product that will do everything you have ever wanted to do. And we'll give you a pony as well. Just wait and don't buy a competing product.

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000


    iDisk =/= iCloud

    Microsoft Skydrive look a lot more like the DropBox or iDisk disk on the cloud services than keep in sync devices and found it on the cloud services of iCloud.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Hello FUD

    Except SkyDrive already exists.

    But BigMac2 is right. It's nothing like iCloud. I mean, you can access your files directly and without being restricted to a particular program. You can get them from anywhere, not just an iDevice you currently connect with, etc.

    iCloud, on the other hand, syncs something (not sure what, some of your files, assuming the apps you have support iCloud) and recent photos (but not all photos). And you have access to your stuff you've purchased from the iTMS (apps, music, etc), but not anything from your computer that wasn't purchased there.

    Actually, Skydrive sounds more like iDisk in MobileMe or Dropbox, as mentioned. Which means it sounds a whole lot more useful (though not as cool, I'm sure).

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