In The 8 Equation: Windows 8 for the Desktop PC we discussed the myth that Windows 8 is meant for just mobile devices. I stood on my tiny soap box and yelled to the masses hoping that anyone, anyone at all would heed my warning that computing had changed and that they’d better get on the train before it left the station. Sadly I simply don’t have the balls to do the same for SkyDrive, Microsoft’s newly-revitalized cloud solution. Why? I’m ashamed to say, I’ve only recently started to see the light on cloud computing myself. With this in mind I approached the cloud sync and storage solutions built in Windows 8 somewhat nervously.


Let’s start at the beginning.

Some of the most exciting things about Microsoft integrating the cloud into Windows 8 has to be the hands off approach to something as simple as using one account to manage all of your PCs, or what I’ve decided on my own to now refer to as Windows devices.  In Windows 8,  singing in with a Microsoft Account enables you to take most of your settings with you including, the colors and theming of your entire Windows experience, passwords, favorites and even a few app settings. As some point out, I’d like to see Apps in this list as well but that’s still an impressive amount of syncing going on. Just think about that for second. Nearly every Windows 8 enabled device you own won’t need to be personalized the moment you take it out of the box. All of your settings are there in the ether. (Yes, security conscious users can turn off.)


Click play anywhere

Being able to sync your settings are one thing, but I don’t think any of you will be surprised to know that I’m more interested in what ramifications the integrated and reinvigorated SkyDrive will have on my media collection. A year ago last month, I decided to add a 64 GB solid state drive into my only computer. The changer over meant that I went from having a 320 GB hard drive to literally struggling to manage all of the data. Then Microsoft finally starting showing a little promise on SkyDrive’s web interface and I decided to throw all of my photography onto Microsoft’s servers. I’m happy to say –and really it was touch and go for bit, with Windows 8’s new features I don’t regret the decision at all. The built in Windows 8 experiences treats all those folders filled with shots of scenery and people making odd faces just as if it was locally stored on my PC, and with the built in SkyDrive app, I can too. Nothing demonstrates this more brilliantly than hitting the “Find My Music” feature in the Xbox Music and playing something from SkyDrive. Ditto for streaming things from SkyDrive using the Xbox Video as well.


Sure there are some things that are touch and go as far as cloud computing and Windows 8 are concerned –believe me, I plan on covering them thoroughly in my impending review of Windows 8 next month, but Windows 8 is perhaps the most cloud aware operating system from any software company to date. Oh and yes, I’m including the laughable joke that is Chrome OS.

One Comment on “The 8 Equation: Life’s a Drive”

  1. HOpe you don’t mind me tagging along on most of these. I like this approach you are taking to going through the bit, the pieces and the black thread and mirrors that the Windows Ecosystem is becoming.

    I too have been approaching Skydrive a little more cautiously. I still find it lacking in the sync department, and I am among those who right now, at this minute need XP support, which is startlingly missing. While I know they want to quickly drive people to the Windows 7/8 environment, this places my 25GB of storage on Skydrive at a disadvantage to my Dropbox, and recently added Sugarsync. Both allow almost instantaneous backup, and I have been paying for 50GB of space on Dropbox for nearly 2 years now to easily grab my work files on the fly from anywhere with any of my PCs. Can’t presently do that with automatic update and sync on my Windows XP Lenovo at work. hence, my use of Sugarsync for those tasks. Installed flawlessly on XP, Windows 8 laptop and my Acer Tablet.

    That being said, I am using about 8GB of the Skydrive space, mostly as backup for family photos. Right now, the space is not enough to drop my Zune collection, but I like that my Windows Phone will automatically upload photos, as i have replaced my point-and-shoot with my Titan for photos and videos.

    The REAL power is just on the horizon: Web apps of Office, tied to Surface RT office apps, tied to my full-blown Office 2010 in Windows 8 Pro when I upgrade the laptop, will be an almost unbeatable combination.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.