Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

Summary: Microsoft has an estimated 100 million users of its SkyDrive "anywhere access and sharing" service today. But the company knows it needs to do more to help users understand what it is and how best to use it.

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Microsoft has an estimated 100 million users of its SkyDrive "anywhere access and sharing" service today. But the company knows it needs to do more to help users understand what it is and how best to use it.

That's according to Brian Hall, General Manager of Internet Explorer and Windows Live, who spoke at the Cowen and Company Annual Technology Media & Telecom Conference on June 2. (I listened to a Webcast of his session.)

"We need to turn SkyDrive into a destination application," while keeping the underlying Skydrive infrastructure, Hall said during a Q&A session following his prepared remarks.

He cited as an example a SkyDrive application for the phone that would allow a user to see all information -- files, photos, Office Web Apps documents -- that they stored in their 25 GB of free cloud storage available with SkyDrive. Currently, Hall acknowledged, it's not always easy for current and potential SkyDrive users to figure out what they've stored there.

WinRumors.com received a demo in late May of a new HTML5 version of SkyDrive that Microsoft is developing that sounds like it is the SkyDrive app for the phone that Hall was describing. SkyDrive also may become a place to store music, as well, as LiveSide has noted.

Hall described SkyDrive as part of the "communications properties" under the Windows Live brand. The other two, according to his definition, are Hotmail and Messenger. 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.

Unsurprisingly, Hall declined to provide any specifics about the version of Windows Live services (known internally as Wave 5) that will supplement and extend Windows 8. However, he did note that the version of Internet Explorer 10 (IE 10) that Microsoft demonstrated on June 1 as part of its Windows 8 user interface presentation was the "second disclosure point" for Microsoft's next version of its browser.

"We showed it (IE 10) not just as the browser, but also as the rendering engine for an application" running on Windows 8, he said.

Microsoft officials confirmed this week that Microsoft will be providing developers with APIs and an SDK based on HTML5 and JavaScript to create a new category of immersive applications for Windows 8.

Now that we have some inclination as to what Microsoft is thinking about the future of SkyDrive, I'd love to hear more on what's coming with Live Mesh....

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

About

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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25 comments
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  • MESH!

    Yes, I'd love to hear what's going on with Mesh as well. Mesh needs to be top-tier like Hotmail, Messenger & Skydrive. Still blown away from the demos they showed in 2008.
    angarita calvo
    • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

      @angarita calvo

      Maybe this? I haven't watched it yet but hopefully it'll shed some light. http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2011/06/02/ben-and-ryan-explain-windows-live-mesh.aspx
      1DaveN
      • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

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        Shamrock12
      • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

        Now that we have some inclination as to what Microsoft is thinking about the future of SkyDrive, I???d love to hear more on what???s coming with Live Mesh..<a href="http://www.nhscampus.com/">Nation High School</a>
        JonathanTrott
      • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

        Love what you're doing here.
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      • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

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      • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

        Windows Live servers, and access them from any computer with an Internet connection,??? as Microsoft explains on its Web site. <a href="http://iimes.in/accreditations.html">International Accreditation Organization</a>
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  • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

    Windows Live has some good stuff in it, such as SkyDrive and Mesh, but the way it sits together is horrible and the user experience isn't that great. Hope that all gets fixed with wave 5.
    OffsideInVancouver
    • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

      @OffsideInVancouver agreed 100% SkyDrive and the other Live services are sloooow and not that user friendly. It'll get better soon I hope
      jarrichvdv
  • Mesh

    I love Mesh. They should integrate and expand Mesh and SkyDrive. For example, make the whole 25 GB of SkyDrive available via Mesh. And make apps not just for Windows but for other OSes - including mobile ones - as well, that include full functionality including remote desktop. Now *that* would be a killer - 25 GB of online cloud storage and remote desktop connectivity from any device to your PCs; maybe at some point to your mobile devices as well...?
    Daniel Breslauer
  • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

    I can remember I took some, how would you say, indecent pictures with my WP7 phone, and deleted them shortly thereafter. I nearly fainted when i went into my hotmail account and was showing some friends pictures, when those showed up. So MS definitely needs to give some more info on how this thing really works, in order to avoid embarrassing unsuspected users, who by default share their pictures on skydrive with friends and family...Oh the horror of embarrassment :D
    vhaakmat
    • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

      @vhaakmat
      If you have selected in your camera settings to automatically 'Upload to SkyDrive', then pics get saved on your SkyDrive the moment you click them. They'll remain there even if you delete the pic from your phone. This feature is not by default, you'd have enabled it yourself.

      However, we can argue that the 'Camera Roll' folder on SkyDrive should mirror what we do on our phones, including deleting, editing with Thumba Photo Editor etc. Perhaps we will get that when (and if) Live Mesh and SkyDrive get aligned in the future.
      Hotmail Alias
  • you can't trust M$ with your files

    M$ will sell your files to the marketers and then will lose them.
    The only solution that is trustworthy is GDrive!
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

      @Linux Geek
      Gdrive? Google? The biggest ad company on the planet? Really??
      Troll...
      reklissrick
    • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

      @Everyone A big round of applause for our resident jester !!!!
      1773
    • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

      @Linux Geek : STFU, you G-slave!
      jaykayess
  • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

    Skydrive is a great idea poorly implemented, it's too bad that we have to continually wait and wait for all the good stuff. I mean FOUR YEARS on the phone, but I am pretty patient, and look forward to good things to come. Why doesn't it just behave like a dang hard disk in the sky? what's with all the limitations, and why is it buried in the menus of hotmail? Jeez, sometime you wonder exactly who is testing this stuff before it goes out.
    JimmyFal
    • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

      @JimmyFal - one of the biggest hindrances to Live's suite of tools and services making decent headway was the political structure of the teams at Microsoft. Now that Live is part of Sinofsky's org, expect the next version of Live to be a whole heck of a lot more user-scenario focussed. I have no doubt that it'll also integrate MUCH better with Win7/8 than it does currently.
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

        @bitcrazed

        I hope you're right. Skydrive is a few minor tweaks away from being awesome. The planned changes for Office documents in Mango were #1 on my wishlist and more seemless integration with Windows is #2.

        As space gets cheaper I expect I will be using my Windows Live account more and more and my local harddrive less and less. I can't wait to see what Windows 8 has in store for us on this front.
        Rich Miles
    • RE: Microsoft shares more on plans to turn SkyDrive into an application

      @JimmyFal :
      I am a big fan of Sky Drive and I discovered a superb free app that lets you access all your SKy Drive folders through a Windows Explorer interface, including drag / drop / cut / paste functionalities. It's called SD Explorer - I've been using it for about 6 months now and it's simply amazing. I don't ever need to go to the default Sky Drive interface ever again.

      Highly recommended.
      jaykayess