SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has announced that it will integrate its cloud storage service Skydrive with the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
The firm is developing its cloud storage offering with a Metro style application for Windows 8. Microsoft said the application will allow users to access and browse files via a fast and fluid touch based interface.
Mike Torres and Omar Shahine, group programme managers for Skydrive want to see it "evolve with Windows 8 from a website today into a true device cloud for Windows customers".
The Skydrive application will also be accessible via any other Metro application using the file picker, that is, the open or save menu in Windows 8. This will make it easy to send or retrieve files from the cloud no matter what you're doing on the computer.
"If the app developer chooses, you'll even be able to save files automatically back to Skydrive," said Torres and Shahine.
Microsoft's "Share Charm" will allow users to share files stored on Skydrive via the Mail application on Windows 8, avoiding the need to attach a file.
The Skydrive application will also be integrated in the desktop via Windows Explorer and some apps like Office. Files up to 2GB in size will be accepted and the system will work on Windows 7 and Windows Vista, too.
In a similar fashion to Apple's Icloud, synchronisation with Windows Phone will be possible where photos taken on a smartphone will appear automatically on the Skydrive application.
A 'private cloud' system will also be possible with the updated Skydrive, which will allow users to access local files over the internet.
Torres and Shahine said, "Knowing that most people would still have files on a remote PC that weren't available through Skydrive, we built a new feature that allows you to 'reach across' the Internet to access any file, stream videos, or view photo albums from a remote PC that is running Skydrive on the desktop."
There's a security risk involved here so users will need to use a code sent to their mobile phone or alternative email address to access the remote PC. µ