Windows 8: Cloud and Windows Come Together

In my last post I talked about the dual user interface and how it helps Microsoft in the tablet market. Thin and light laptops like the Chromebooks and MacBook Air (or Ultrabooks as Intel likes to call them) are becoming popular, these computers don’t come with a lot of storage space. Cloud computing to stream media, store images or work on documents is what makes these lightweight computers more capable. (Google Docs, Office Web Apps, Live Mesh, Dropbox, iCloud, Pandora, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Spotify, Zune etc.)

One of my favorite Google Chrome feature is the account sync. Logging with my Google ID and I can get my Preferences, Bookmarks, Autofill, Apps etc. synced on any PC. Microsoft plans to offer users with similar possibilities. In Windows 8, connecting your Windows Live account, a user can have his Explorer, Mouse, Application settings etc. synced on another Windows 8 machine. The feature is referred to as Roaming profiles, something Windows Server based network users must have heard before. Roaming Profiles was introduced as part of the Server family of Windows. In Windows 7 Microsoft allowed users to connect  their Windows Live accounts and it added no value whatsoever. However, with Windows 8, Windows Live integration actually makes sense.

According to leaked images, Microsoft will be offering roaming profiles for Windows 8 through Windows Live.

Initial leaks also showed Windows Live profile picture next in the start bar next to the clock. The Explorer integration doesn’t stop here. As revealed by Windows enthusiasts Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott, sync and Web Sharing showed up as an option in the Explorer Ribbon. Windows Live Mesh is an evolution of Windows Sync, Live Mesh and SkyDrive. In Microsoft Office multi-author editing and saving to SkyDrive were introduced. Sync and Web Sharing in Windows 8 with SkyDrive as the back-end would offer seamless access across a Windows 8 tablet, Windows Phone any PC with a browser.

It is fascinating to see how Windows Live, projects like Live Mesh, Sync and implementations in Office are shaping in Windows 8.

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Manan Kakkar

Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.