“Live Drive” is almost here – Windows Live Folders beta

By Chris | Posted May 12, 2007 8 comments

One beta ends and suddenly five more spring up in its place. We can finally get the talk around Windows Live going again – the Windows Live Folders site has just opened up in preparation for the beta. (Please note the beta has not yet started, so the site will not work correctly.)

So how does it work? Windows Live Folders allows you to upload your files to the cloud, providing access to them from an internet browser (both IE and Firefox are supported). The key part is using Windows Live ID to limit access to the files you have uploaded, allowing you to keep them private, share them with contacts, or make them public. With Windows Live, it’s the sum of the parts that gives it so much potential. Here’s a summary of the Folders service:

Personal

  • Use personal folders to back up important files that are only for you.
  • Get to your files from any computer with Internet access by signing in with your Windows Live ID.

Shared

  • Shared folders make it easy to collaborate with coworkers or classmates.
  • You decide how much control each person has over each shared folder. Some can just read what’s there: others can add and delete files.
  • Everyone who is sharing uses their own Windows Live ID.

Public

  • With public folders, anyone on the Internet can view your files, but they can’t change them.
  • Want to show your public files to others? Just send them a link! Each folder and file has its own web address.

The beta service looks to only be offering 500MB initially, with a maximum file size of ~50MB but as we’ve seen with the just-launched Windows Live Hotmail, internet services need to be scaled up carefully. There’s no Windows Live Folders client available for download either, undoubtably a key part of the “Live Drive” package, but lets not get too disappointed yet. The beta we’ve all been waiting for is almost here.

A brief review and screenshots is available separately as this post got too long.

Windows Live Folders homepage

Update: Folders is now in beta however there are no invites currently available. See all our posts tags Folders for the latest information or subscribe to our RSS feed to find out when the beta re-opens!

Posted May 12th, 2007 at 8:30 pm
Category: News
Tags: Folders
  • http://www.khristopher.com Khristopher

    Wow awesome :D This is exciting! Gonna try it out immediately! It does appear to be a bit basic, I’m looking forward to the direction this goes. I think this service could end up being huge for Microsoft and the whole Windows Live program.

  • Hb8

    Seems to be pretty functional for me already. as of 7:25 a.m. Pacific

  • http://www.dotnetjunkies.com/weblog/mwherman2000/ mwherman2000

    When I clicked on Getting Started this morning (2007/5/12), the site crashed with an ASP.NET error page.

  • wargarurumon

    its constantly crashing when i try to visit it

  • Chris

    Yeah the site was not supposed to be for public use yet, hence the errors. Its now been taken offline as a result :(

  • http://blogs.conchango.com/jamiethomson/archive/tags/Windows+Live/default.aspx jamiet

    YEAAHHHH!!! Finally.

    If anything is going to make people sit up and listen it’ll be cloud storage.

    Has this been borne out of FolderShare?

    -Jamie

  • http://www.lifeinvasion.com zlinko

    Hmm.. I wonder if they will offer more space for a subscription fee. Sort of like .Mac has at the moment.

  • http://blogs.conchango.com/jamiethomson/archive/tags/Windows+Live/default.aspx jamiet

    Zlinko,
    I think you can virtually guarantee that they’ll offer more space for a fee. If they’ve any sense they’ll offer premium packages as well – I can see Office Live customers going for that in a big way.

    I think Live Folders is going to be the thing that ties lots of loose ends together. I wouldn’t mind betting that photos on Live Spaces will get stored in your Live Folders. Shared folders in Live Messenger currently will migrate to Live Folders. There’ll be a Live Spaces gadget for viewing your Live Folders. Windows Explorer will support Live Folders so you’ll be able to effortlessly drag-and-drop between your local folders and your live folders. Pictures/photos stored in public Live Folders will be indexed by Live Search Images. Soapbox videos will be migrated to be stored in your Live Folders. Live Hotmail storage will be part of your Live Folders. XBOX Live info willbe stored in Live Folders. Live Maps collections will be accessible via Live Folders.

    All tied together by your Live ID. Microsoft’s investment in Microsoft Passport all those years ago is now gonna pay off huge.

    Those are my predictions anyway.

    -Jamie