Folders and Photo Gallery announced – more to come this summer

Windows Live Folders and Windows Live Photo Gallery are set to begin limited managed betas, according to an announcement by Microsoft today.  Windows Live Folders, which we showed you when it briefly popped up back in May, is the first attempt at a “storage in the cloud” service for Windows Live.  The beta will provide 500mb of online storage at no charge, with a 50mb individual file size cap.  I talked to Chris Jones, Corporate Vice President, Windows Live Experience Program Management, who showed me around Folders and Photo Gallery, and while he expects Folders to be used for document storage, and not music, photo, or video storage, he expects Microsoft to be “very competitive” in the storage space they provide.

WL Folders Home Page 
(click to enlarge)

Our posts on Windows Live Folders from May 12, 2007

Windows Live Folders Part 1

Windows Live Folders Part 2

Windows Live Folders Part 3

Windows Live Photo Gallery is a new product, an “upgrade” from the Windows Photo Gallery that comes with Vista, and which will be available as a free download for Windows XP SP2 as well.  Windows Live Photo Gallery will provide enhancements, such as a stitching tool, and will make posting photos to Spaces, or Soapbox for videos, far easier than it is today.

Photo gallery with captions

Windows Live Photo Gallery will be available in a managed beta in 9 worldwide markets (US, in English and Spanish), China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, and Spain) with more to come.  Chris Jones made it clear that it’s very important to reach a global market with these services, so expect to see more countries added quickly.

In addition, Jones says to expect more from Windows Live in the summer months and into the fall.  We should see a Windows Live Suite this summer, to be able to easily install multiple Windows Live “software plus services” products at once.

We’ll continue to cover these new products at LiveSide in the coming days and weeks, remember to subscribe to our RSS feed and/or our Windows Live Alerts to get the latest in Windows Live news and information.