Microsoft said to be readying an HTML-friendly Windows Live SkyDrive

Microsoft said to be readying an HTML-friendly Windows Live SkyDrive

Summary: Microsoft is said to be working on an overhaul of its Windows Live SkyDrive storage service. There's no official word as to whether it will be ready this year or some time after Windows 8 ships.


Microsoft is working on a major overhaul of its Windows Live SkyDrive cloud storage service, acording to

The new version of SkyDrive will sport a "new interface will include a HTML5 version of its image viewer, alongside a refreshed interface to view documents and files uploaded to the free service," according to WinRumors. posted earlier this month about a new SkyDrive interface that will be part of the Windows Live Wave 5 set of services, which Microsoft is building alongside Windows 8. LiveSide also noted on May 25 that the overhauled SkyDrive may support streaming music for Windows Phone Mango customers (though Microsoft has not stated this officially).

When I asked Microsoft about these reports, I was told the company had no comment and wouldn't share any of the details that Microsoft seemingly provided to WinRumors earlier this week about the next SkyDrive release.

"The SkyDrive team does not have anything to disclose at this time," a spokesperson told me. The spokesperson also said the Windows Phone team had nothing more to say about changes coming to SkyDrive.

SkyDrive is key to Microsoft's Office Web Applications future, as well as to the Windows Phone "Mango" update. Microsoft is retooling its Office Hub with Mango -- an update that will be available on new Windows Phones in time for this holiday season. Microsoft plans to synchronize its phone version of more of its Office applications (beyond OneNote) with SkyDrive, which is something that will interest both business and consumer customers.

(A related aside: If you want to read more about the business features coming in Mango, ZDNet UK has an excellent Q&A with Microsoft on this topic.)

SkyDrive allows users to "store, organize, and download your files, photos, and favorites on Windows Live servers, and access them from any computer with an Internet connection," as Microsoft explains on its Web site.

The Windows team at Microsoft is leading the charge toward relying on HTML as a way to insure cross-platform support for Microsoft and third-party applications and services. HTML support in IE 9 and the coming IE 10 is key to Microsoft's Windows 8 strategy, especially for Windows 8 tablets. There's no timeline as to when Microsoft will begin rolling out Windows Live Wave 5, but if history is any indication, it may trail the expected 2012 release of Windows 8 by up to a year.

In other Mango-related news, Microsoft announced on May 25 that the company is going to have a Web version of the Windows Phone Marketplace available when Mango is released.

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Integrated Windows Explorer support

    That's what I want to see, along with great syncing performance and Dropbox style drag and drop support. I like Skydrive, but using it is excruciatingly slow, I use dropbox to quickly share and sync files between multiple PC's and it just works!
    Mr. Dee
    • RE: Microsoft said to be readying an HTML-friendly Windows Live SkyDrive

      @Mr. Dee Have you tried Windows Live Sync (formerly known as Mesh)?
    • Google has a better service

      @Mr. Dee
      use GDrive to store more and faster.
      Linux Geek
      • RE: Microsoft said to be readying an HTML-friendly Windows Live SkyDrive

        @Linux Geek
        Last time when I checked GDrive doesn't offer 25GB space for free.
        Ram U
    • RE: Microsoft said to be readying an HTML-friendly Windows Live SkyDrive

      @Mr. Dee <br>I strongly recommend a free application called SD Explorer. It lets you access all your SkyDrive folders just like a Windows Explorer folder - drag and rop, copy, paste, etc. Simply fabulous!
  • Cloud Storage

    I have had little interest in storing any of my files on Cloud, but since I have started relying more and more on my tablet, I have come to see where it would be useful. Unfortunately, it does not support android.
    • RE: Microsoft said to be readying an HTML-friendly Windows Live SkyDrive

      try sorami skydrive beta (free) or Android SMEStorage app (paid). Android SMEStorage also allows you to connect to your WebDAV accounts.
      Ram U
  • RE: Microsoft said to be readying an HTML-friendly Windows Live SkyDrive

    that would be cool. This opens doors for easier integration of SkyDrive into Apps from all sorts of devices. I see full potential of applications for iOS, Androids, WP7, BB etc. free 25Gb is a lot to miss.
    Ram U
  • still a good news

    the silver light control was always slow to load.
  • More effective cross-platform support?

    I love SkyDrive. I loved Mesh and I love SkyDrive Sync / Devices.. apart from the Mac client. Very poor stability means I actually stopped using it. A fix of removing files / folders and re-creating the sync isn't practical when there are multiple GB's of data being sync'd. Here's hoping the the Live platform update will include more stable client-side apps for ALL platforms.
  • I think it's a good idea for them to focus on HTML5

    It's probably a bit slower in terms of progress than focusing on SilverLight would be, but using a standard that they didn't entirely develop will protect Microsoft from the inevitable legal attacks that would follow if they did anything else. If they win, their competitors will have no excuses. If they lose, the legal threats will recede and they can always fall back to something based on SilverLight etc.
  • RE: Microsoft said to be readying an HTML-friendly Windows Live SkyDrive

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