Microsoft plans to deliver an intimate connection between its Windows client and its cloud storage service hosted under the Windows Live umbrella brand. The Redmond company has continually been hinting at the bridging of its Windows desktop operating system with the Windows Live suite of services and products, as an integral part of the company's Software plus Services business model. According to Microsoft, one of the aspects of such a strategy is the synchronization of the Windows desktop platform with its SkyDrive online storage service.
According to a member of the SkyDrive team, supporting file synchronization between the Windows desktop and the web-based file storage service is one of the top requests from users, along with "allowing multiple downloads at once, displaying how many times a file has been downloaded; providing an API for storing and retrieving files and adding SkyDrive access from Windows Explorer," according to the SkyDrive representative.
Of course that at this point in time Microsoft failed to reveal if it actually plans to turn all the requests from end users into features of the next version of SkyDrive. But at the same time, the company did indicate that as it evolved its S+S vision, the Windows client would stretch into the cloud. So far, Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3 are the most likely to permit users to benefit from SkyDrive synchronization. But at the same time, Windows 7 could have SkyDrive access built into Windows Explorer.
At the end of February 2008, Microsoft finalized SkyDrive and removed the Beta tag. The next version of the service is planned for 2009 together with Windows Live Wave 3. "Weve received a bunch of great feature suggestions, many of which we hope to address in upcoming releases. The biggest request weve seen is to make SkyDrive more widely available. We plan to roll out in many more markets in the next year, so stay tuned," the SkyDrive representative added.