Microsoft Windows 8 Will Turn SkyDrive Into a Cloud Cornerstone
A post on Microsoft’s official “Building Windows 8” blog indicates that Microsoft is making its SkyDrive cloud storage platform into a major part of the value proposition for the Windows 8 operating system.
As Microsoft acknowledges, SkyDrive as it exists today is little more than a website where users can put up and take down files – a far cry from the kind of file syncing and versioning that more beloved offerings like Dropbox and Box have slowly made standard.
But with the integration of its little-hailed Live Mesh syncing solution, a fully Metro-enabled app that integrates with Windows Explorer, and the ability to fetch your local hard drive’s files from anywhere via SkyDrive.com, Microsoft is making a play at turning SkyDrive into a serious cloud contender. Apparently, the SkyDrive smartphone apps for Apple iOS were just the first step towards creating this ecosystem.
Microsoft’s blog is extremely wordy on this topic, and goes into probably too much depth about all the ways the company has rethought its approach to cloud storage with regard to SkyDrive and Windows 8. But the real moral of the story here is that Microsoft is positioning this revamped cloud storage as faster, less performance-intensive, and completely open to developers (including for apps that both retrieve data from and store data back to the SkyDrive cloud).
From where I’m standing, this seems like a smart move, and one that should have cloud storage vendors start to sweat a little bit. Microsoft Windows 8’s market dominance seems all but assured, at least on the desktop (the jury’s still out on tablet penetration). If SkyDrive can really bring it when it matters, Microsoft may have cornered a huge portion of the cloud storage market.
Of course, Apple’s trying something similar with OS X Mountain Lion and iCloud, so let’s see whose cloud vision resonates with the masses when Microsoft Windows 8 releases its community preview on or before February 29th.