Monday, February 20, 2012

Windows 8 SkyDrive App: Explorer Integrated, Remote Fetch, More

Microsoft announced a new feature, SkyDrive app for Windows 8, an integrated cloud services for users of Windows 8, the latest operating system being developed by Microsoft which is expected to be released later this year. Using this application, users can synchronize files, photos, video, email, documents, etc., across devices including PCs, smart phones, tablets, and others which have Windows 8 OS and SkyDrive app installed on their devices.

And of course, like any other cloud service, users can access and manage their SkyDrive account online by using a web browser. In fact, according to the announcement by Microsoft Windows 8 Development Team, users can access, fetch, and manage files and other stuffs on their devices remotely via a single SkyDrive window interface on SkyDrive.com online.


In order to access a remote PC, users will have to provide a two-factor authentications. This requires that a user have to type a code send by SkyDrive to user mobile phone or alternate email address in addition to having access to the account (If a user is already on a trusted PC, then she/he won’t have to do it every time). This is a kind of a security layer provided by Microsoft to prevent someone from abusing a user account.

Here are some figures from Windows 8 Team illustrating SkyDrive app.

Windows 8 SkyDrive in Windows Explorer: Folders synchronization

Windows 8 SkyDrive in Windows Explorer: Files synchronization

SkyDrive: Remote access to multiple devices

Windows 8 SkyDrive: Two-factor authentication required to connect remotely

Windows 8 is some time away, but it's clear that the cloud sync market is going to get a lot more interesting or at least more crowded. There are already plenty of competitors in the cloud storage service market, like Dropbox which is now the most popular synchronizations service with 50 million users, iCloud from Apple, Box.net, and others, and also, according to recently publiched news, it is known that Google is also working on similar service, built on top of Docs, called Google Drive and coming within the next few months at the latest.

SkyDrive app will be included in Windows 8 Customer Preview, which is expected to be released to public and available for download within this or next week.