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Microsoft Cloud Data Storage

Microsoft Revamping SkyDrive 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the silver-lining-done-in-rectangles dept.
Windows 8 is drawing near, and with it comes tighter integration with Microsoft's cloud storage service SkyDrive. Because of its increased visibility, Microsoft is revamping SkyDrive to a more modern design, and is updating the SkyDrive apps for desktop PCs and Android devices. "SkyDrive’s revamped home page embraces the same tile-based design aesthetic as Microsoft’s other new and upcoming products, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Microsoft previously referred to that aesthetic as 'Metro,' but plans on giving it a new name at an unannounced future point. ... SkyDrive users can flick for a more detailed view of files, including dates modified, sharing status, and size. In terms of features, there’s the ability to search within SkyDrive for pretty much any term, including content within Word and other Office documents. Microsoft has also shifted common commands (creating and sharing folders, for example) to the toolbar that runs along the top of the SkyDrive interface.
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Microsoft Revamping SkyDrive

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    What's wrong with the name "SkyDrive"?

  • is it because Ballmer got caught using drop-box? ( earlier slashdot article)

  • Disgusting. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @06:45PM (#41003029) Journal

    This isn't specific to Skydrive, it's a defect of other 'cloud storage' things as well; but why the hell would I want an "app" on my desktop for something that is supposed to be a filesystem?

    Why would I use an application-specific re-implementation of things like 'search' and 'metadata display'? That's just perverse. I can understand that, if you need a UI that works in just about any browser, with download links and a little xmlhttprequest upload box, for basic just-need-to-grab-that-file-to-print-it-out type needs; but a desktop "app"?

    Is it too hard for Microsoft to expose their own service as a filesystem?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I read your post 5 times and I still can't figure out what you're all pissed off about. Slow down and take 10 deep breaths.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Hatta (162192)

        Parent post was perfectly articulate, you're just dumb.

        • Patriotism isn't bigotry. Nationalism approaches bigotry. Pretentious sigs are pretentious.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Ziggitz (2637281)
        While the outrage is a little over the top, the issue is that Microsoft can't implement their own cloud storage solution as an explorer add on. When I install the Dropbox application to my Linux machine, my Dropbox folders show up as folders in my user directory even though Dropbox didn't create my desktop environment because the Filesystem implementation for Linux is exposed to them. Microsoft on the other hand can't implement the same integration for Windows, their own operating system and desktop envir
        • by Nerdfest (867930)

          I'm sure it's not "can't" it's "don't want to". They want to add features to the Apple-style lock-in that is 'Metro'. How are they going to take their percentage of apps if people write native apps?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You mean the Skydrive program that synchronizes with your Skydrive that was made availible months ago?

        • by Teun (17872)
          I think you mix up Dropbox and Webdavs, it's the latter that shows the remote files as part of your tree, Dropbox only shows a local copy unless you use a browser and get on the net.
        • You can certainly implement this level of integration on Windows. Jungle Disk cloud storage, for example, installs as a driver (or something along these lines) and then appears as a network drive in Explorer, working directly against remote files.

          SkyDrive doesn't have the same exact thing, but it just uses a different model - it has a local folder that's automatically synced to the cloud in the background. So you don't really need an app to work with; and, indeed, there's no desktop "app" for it (there's a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DigiShaman (671371)

      Call me old fashioned. But this whole idea throwing personal and corporate data to the "cloud" doesn't resonate well with me. I find the entire concept to be... well, unsettling from a security standpoint. Online systems have been and do continue to get hacked.

      No sir, I don't trust cloud technology.

      • by Teun (17872)
        The better brands have your remote date encrypted, that way it's safe from thieves even though you can still lose it.
      • by kwerle (39371)

        ... You trust your underfunded, overworked, and undereducated (for security issues) IT department more?

      • Call me old fashioned. But this whole idea throwing personal and corporate data to the "cloud" doesn't resonate well with me. I find the entire concept to be... well, unsettling from a security standpoint. Online systems have been and do continue to get hacked.

        If your computer is connected to the internet it is, as much as anything in the cloud is, an "online system" and subject to the "online systems have been and do continue to get hacked" problem. So, there's that.

        If your computer isn't connected to the

      • it is perfectly safe as long as you encrypt locally.

      • I find the entire concept to be... well, unsettling from a security standpoint. Online systems have been and do continue to get hacked.

        No sir, I don't trust cloud technology.

        No should you. The "cloud" in a network diagram is where data goes to disappear, become unreliable, be attacked, come back exploited, etc. The less "cloud" in your network diagram the better it is! It's a hold over from drafting in general where you make cloud like lines around some part of the blueprint, which is later exploded into its individual pieces -- Except with a network diagram, "the cloud" isn't known -- We leave it mostly blank. It's as opaque, fluffy, and fickle as the clouds in the sky...

      • If you're going to use the cloud, investigate TNO (Trust No One) solutions - options where the data is encrypted on your computer and uploaded to the cloud, and the cloud hosting provider does not have access to the decryption key. If you want to do it yourself, use GnuPG or 7-zip to encrypt the file, and then put the file into the folder that gets automatically synced to DropBox or SkyDrive or Ubuntu One or whatever. As long as you don't upload your decryption key or password, nobody should be able to
    • Skydrive has a synchronization application for Windows and OSX. It has for months.
    • by Swampash (1131503)

      Dropbox owns this space because it's a folder. It's not a filesystem or a server or an application. It's a folder, you put stuff in it, it syncs.

      See Michael Wolfe's excellent answer to this question about Dropbox at Quora:

      http://www.quora.com/Dropbox/Why-is-Dropbox-more-popular-than-other-programs-with-similar-functionality [quora.com]

    • You don't need an app for that if you use the desktop. It's just a local folder under your %HOME% that's automatically synced to the "cloud". Naturally, any existing program that can work with files will also work with that.

      There's a SkyDrive app for Win8 because it de-emphasizes the file system, and for WP because it completely hides it from the user. But you don't have to go there if you don't want to.

    • Is it too hard for Microsoft to expose their own service as a filesystem?

      The non-Metro SkyDrive client adds a SkyDrive folder to your user library. From there, it acts like any other folder.

    • Baby steps. Patience padawan.

      I see what you want an OS that just has content on it, view able, navigable, searchable, accessible, all irrelevant of the actual storage mechanism. Whether its stores on a local disk or in the "cloud" somewhere it just available like any other file or content on your OS.

      Its a great idea, and historically Microsoft did offer features that blurred the line between local content and "local network" content, offering network files that included an "offline" mode for cached storag

    • by tgd (2822)

      This isn't specific to Skydrive, it's a defect of other 'cloud storage' things as well; but why the hell would I want an "app" on my desktop for something that is supposed to be a filesystem?

      Why would I use an application-specific re-implementation of things like 'search' and 'metadata display'? That's just perverse. I can understand that, if you need a UI that works in just about any browser, with download links and a little xmlhttprequest upload box, for basic just-need-to-grab-that-file-to-print-it-out type needs; but a desktop "app"?

      Is it too hard for Microsoft to expose their own service as a filesystem?

      It is, but the OS won't do local caching so you have the files offline.

      The app gives you file synchronization with offline copies. You don't need it, you can access it via WEBDAV just fine.

  • With that lead-in I expected a significant change in the service, but it sounds more like, "redesigned the website". Wow, they moved some buttons to a toolbar, too!

    • With that lead-in I expected a significant change in the service, but it sounds more like, "redesigned the website". Wow, they moved some buttons to a toolbar, too!

      How quickly you forget how significant that can be... At risk of awaking that which shant be named, what recall have you of, "The Ribbon"?

  • by Swampash (1131503) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @08:49PM (#41004319)

    LAN Sync: with Skydrive if I move 50gigs of data into the shared folder of my iMac, my iMac uploads that 50gigs into the cloud over my DSL connection and then my Macbook downloads that 50gigs from the cloud over my DSL connection and then my old PowerMac downloads that 50gigs from the cloud over my DSL connection. Dropbox will just copy the 50gigs to the other machines over the gigabit ethernet they're all plugged in to since they're all in the same room.

    Differential upload: with Skydrive if I change one byte in an 8gig DVD image then that 8gigs of data gets uploaded into the cloud. Dropbox uploads the one byte.

    Get public link: right click on a file in Dropbox, get link for sharing with people. A killer feature that Skydrive just doesn't have.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Windows Live Mesh did this and was much more advanced than both DropBox AND SkyDrive. Aside from LAN syncing, it also let you sync ANY folder on any drive, not just those in some 'special' DropBox/SkyDrive folder. Also one of my big gripes with DropBox is that shared content from other people uses up my quota, not so with Mesh - the service only stores the file one, why bill 5 different people's quotas? Storing data in the cloud is just like on another PC, you can select to do it, or no -. I used it to sync

      • Mesh is/was a great product, MS just sucked at bringing it to people's attention.

        Or, they realized it gave you too much control over your own data...

        • by tgd (2822)

          Mesh is/was a great product, MS just sucked at bringing it to people's attention.

          Or, they realized it gave you too much control over your own data...

          Don't fall into the trap of attributing strange things Microsoft does to nefarious intents, athough that's the knee-jerk at Slashdot. The reality is that corporate politics and turf battles are the real cause of most of these things. When you have two products coming out of two business groups or parts of the organization under two different senior leaders, the losers are the consumers. Much of what people tend to attribute to some sort of centralized scheming on the part of Microsoft is really just a resul

      • by tgd (2822)

        Windows Live Mesh did this and was much more advanced than both DropBox AND SkyDrive.

        Hopefully some of that functionality will eventually come back. A bigger loss without having Mesh (and you lose Mesh if you move to the new versions of the Live apps), in my opinion, is the remote access functionality. I doubt many people even knew it was there, but it was one of the best freebee things Microsoft had associated with their Live properties.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @12:59AM (#41006511) Journal

      Get public link: right click on a file in Dropbox, get link for sharing with people. A killer feature that Skydrive just doesn't have.

      It does now. [ghacks.net]

      • by Swampash (1131503)

        That is nowhere near the functionality that Dropbox offers. That's a confusing twenty-click nightmare that only Microsoft could think was useful to a user.

        Dropbox: right click on the file in Finder or Explorer, context menu, "get public link", click. THAT's useful.

    • Get public link: right click on a file in Dropbox, get link for sharing with people. A killer feature that Skydrive just doesn't have.

      My SkyDrive does exactly this. Right-click on file, share - get a link (select to give view or edit rights, built in URL shortener). You can also make file public, share on Facebook or send directly as an email from within SkyDrive.

  • They should call it "a drive", or "a: drive" to be more specific. Nobody uses flopies anymore. Make it appear to be just another disk and consider it done.
    • The non-Metro client (almost) does that already - it makes a SkyDrive folder in your user folder.
  • ... they don't go very well together. I tried the new outlook and other unified, metro styled, webapps on my windows7.5 nokia... I could ignore the uglyness, but the functionality... they must be kidding.... are they new to this thing called the internet?

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