Microsoft confirms SkyDrive Desktop app; details Windows 8 integration

By Kip Kniskern | In Featured, News | Posted February 20, 2012

skydrive-logoIn a blog post on the Windows 8 blog, Omar Shahine and Mike Torres confirmed today what we told you this weekend about an upcoming SkyDrive app, and provides some detail about the upcoming Windows 8 Metro style app for SkyDrive (“an early version of which will be available at Consumer Preview”).

As we have been suspecting for some time, it looks like Windows Live Mesh is about to morph from being a standalone product to a feature of SkyDrive, something that we think makes lots of sense.  Microsoft has set itself a lofty goal of becoming “the world’s hard drive” (emphasis ours):

Growing our infrastructure is one of many things we have been busy working on, but most important of these are our investments in sync and cloud scenarios for Windows 8, which will finally bring the DNA of SkyDrive and Mesh together into one service. Given our goal to be the world’s hard drive, we will need to continue to build out the service, and you can expect our pace of improvements to continue through 2012.

The post starts by detailing the new SkyDrive Metro style app, and its foundation of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5:

To build a SkyDrive experience on WinRT, we took an approach that we expect many web developers will choose to take on Windows 8. We built the entire app using modern web technologies like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5, and because of our recent updates to, we were able to use the same JSON APIs and JavaScript object model that the website uses. The only difference on Windows 8 is that we bind the results to modern controls that were built for touch. This is part of the reason it’s so fast, and the touch behavior works so well (and works on Windows on ARM too). Over time, we fully expect the Metro style app and to “converge” on functionality so there won’t be a question of which experience someone should use. When using Windows 8, the SkyDrive Metro style app will be the best way to browse and manage your SkyDrive.

It then goes on to acknowledge the Windows Desktop app (although there’s no mention of a Mac app, which we told you about this weekend):

Of course, there are people who will use older versions of Windows for a while, so SkyDrive on the desktop will also run on Windows Vista and Windows 7. If you want to make sure your files come with you to Windows 8 and you’re still running Windows 7, you’ll just put them in your SkyDrive folder. This makes it easier to upgrade to Windows 8 or make sure you can access your files across all of your PCs.

SkyDrive for the desktop will also provide the ability to sync up to your available quota of storage (and the ability to unlock more), along with unmatched performance on your PC. Oh, and we will also have support for uploading large files (up to 2GB) through Explorer, another big request from users over the years.

The SkyDrive app, as we told you, will have built in remote access (much like Windows Live Mesh does now), which Omar and Mike call the “Forgot something?” feature:

We’ve done special work to enable remote streaming of video, and we’ll treat photo albums on your remote PC exactly as we do photo albums in SkyDrive, with the same beautiful full-screen viewer. We realize this is more of an enthusiast feature, as most people won’t have an always-on PC at home, but for those who do, fetching files works like magic.

So, to quickly recap, it looks like we’re getting full SkyDrive integration in Windows 8 through a Metro style app, and 3rd party integration through charms and contracts, a new desktop app, ability to upload folders and large files, video streaming from your home computer from anywhere, hints of the paid storage we told you about, and much much more!  Wow!

We’ll have a bit more to say about SkyDrive coming up soon, including a few more surprises.  Stay tuned!

Posted February 20th, 2012 at 11:07 am
Category: Featured, News
Tags: SkyDrive, Windows 8