Microsoft has unveiled plans to integrate the firm’s cloud storage service SkyDrive with the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, similar to that offered by the integration of Apple’s platforms and iCloud.
The company revealed that Microsoft has 17 million SkyDrive users that use the service ever month, adding up to 10 petabytes of data. In a new post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft described how a new "Metro Style" Windows 8 app would come with the OS as well as having SkyDrive files integrated into the desktop and viewable through Windows Explorer.
An ‘early’ version of the SkyDrive app will be including in the upcoming Consumer Preview version.
"One of the most powerful features in Windows 8 is the ability to integrate SkyDrive functionality across other apps using charms and contracts," blogged SkyDrive boss Mike Torres.
"SyDrive is available as a file picker, so from any app you’ll be able to open files from, and save files to your SkyDrive," he added.
Torres pointed out that any apps that open and save documents and photos will be able to save to the cloud-based SkyDrive without adding specific support. Rather like any number of other cloud storage services that appear as Windows folders and drives then.
Much of the blog post explains the benefits of SkyDrive integration with Windows 8 in terms of the rather obvious benefits of cloud storage which will already be familiar to the countless users of SkyDrive already, or third-party offerings such as Dropbox.
One unique aspect is that Microsoft is also going with a two-factor authentication scheme when accessing SkyDrive files from any other PC than a ‘trusted PC’. The system will need a code sent to an alternative email address or text message phone number.
Unsurprisingly SkyDrive will also feature on Windows Phone, presumably as a platform exclusive although there have already been third-party SkyDrive client apps appearing for iOS and Android. Microsoft being Microsoft, we’d expect the tightest integration to occur entirely within the firm’s own-brand software.
Microsoft also helpfully suggested that SkyDrive would be just the ticket for transferring files from earlier versions of Windows when upgrading to Windows 8.