Microsoft plans to turn SkyDrive into an application for Windows Live Wave 5?

On the eve of Apple’s iCloud announcement next Monday at WWDC 2011, Brian Hall, General Manager of Windows Live & Internet Explorer, presented at the Cowen and Company Annual Technology Media & Telecom Conference today, and gave some hints as to where Microsoft plans to take SkyDrive in the next release, internally known as Wave 5 (emphasis ours):

So, as we look forward without pre-announcing anything that’s coming in Windows 8, between Windows Live and Windows 8, we feel very good about being able to take all of the stuff that you do on the Web and just make it seamlessly available in whatever experience that you’re in. […]

So what we’re doing moving forward is moving SkyDrive out of that infrastructure zone, and turning it into a destination application, while also keeping the infrastructure aspects.

We previously reported that Microsoft is planning on an HTML5 version of SkyDrive, currently in internal dogfood testing. From yesterday’s announcement on Windows 8, we understand that the new "modern" immersive Windows 8 apps will be based on HTML5 and JavaScript. Given what Brian Hall mentioned above, will we see SkyDrive exist as an HTML5-based immersive app in Windows 8? We’ve also previously heard rumors about an HTML5 version of Hotmail, which might potentially replace Windows Live Mail. Will this potentially be the direction Windows Live Essentials is going?

Brian Hall also stated that SkyDrive will become one of the three "communication properties" of Windows Live, together with Hotmail and Messenger, with over 100 million users. This supports our understanding that the new SkyDrive will replace both Windows Live Photos and Office, serving as a single destination to manage both photos and videos as well as Office documents stored on the cloud. Microsoft is certainly starting to push SkyDrive front and center as part of its Windows Live offerings. In fact, Microsoft only just recently set up a @SkyDrive account on Twitter, who made their first post today saying they’re "just getting started" with SkyDrive:

[blackbirdpie url=!/SkyDrive/status/76409368559616001]

It’ll definitely be interesting days ahead for SkyDrive. Will we finally hear that Windows Live Mesh’s cloud storage is integrated with SkyDrive? Will Windows 8 have Windows Live Mesh built-in? Will users be able purchase additional cloud storage for SkyDrive? There are so many questions still left unanswered.

(Thanks to Mary Jo Foley for the heads up!)