Last week, during the BUILD in Anaheim, California, Microsoft released the developer preview of Windows 8. "With Windows 8 in mind, Mirosoft is building applications and services -- in particular, the company took the bold steps of," revealed Chris Jones, SVP of Windows Live:
- Enhancing Windows Live service for sync across your PCs
- Making a SkyDrive available to every Windows 8 and Windows Phone customer
- Building a new suite of Metro style apps for communications and sharing
- And enabling app developers to use Live and SkyDrive through the Live SDK
Live service to sync across your PCs
"With Windows 8, you now have that same ability for the important parts of your Windows experience, if you choose to. You can sign in to a Windows 8 PC with your Windows Live ID, and then it gets your profile, application settings, and other important information right from the cloud," Jones said.
He said that "It's all built on top of the Windows Live infrastructure we've built to support over 500 million active users a month. In fact, over 150,000 people have already logged in to Windows 8 with their Windows Live ID, and as they move across Windows 8 devices, their settings and preferences will go along with them."
Live service also keeps track of all of your Windows PCs and Windows Phones, allowing you to easily connect back to any PC when you are away, or find your phone when it is lost.
SkyDrive for the information you create and care about
Jones writes "Now every person who uses Windows 8 or Windows Phone has access to a SkyDrive, where you can put your most important files. These're stored in the cloud, accessible from any browser, and connected to the apps we've built for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. And you can share things with anyone, over email or through networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter."
New Metro style apps for Mail, Calendar, Photos, Messaging, and People
Metro style represents a new way to write applications, and we have rewritten our applications from the ground up based on the new Windows 8 platform. Our new applications target the new Windows 8 runtime and embrace the Metro style design principles, and cloud powered by Live service. An important aspect of apps is that they're connected to the services you use every day, so you can quickly get a view of what's happening. We know most people have more than one mail address, and Mail connects to multiple mail accounts, at home or at work. "Calendar connects to your work and personal calendar, as well as calendars from friends, co-workers, or family members who've a Live ID. People is a connected address book, bringing together contacts from work, home, and popular networks including Facebook and LinkedIn. Messaging keeps track of all of your IM conversations across Messenger, Facebook, and other connected IM networks. And Photos lets you view your photos, whether on your PC, another PC, SkyDrive, or other popular services," Jones said.
Live Connect for developers
Metro style applications are automatically cloud powered because Windows takes care of roaming the important settings. "If you want to go beyond the basics, we've an API for SkyDrive that enables Windows 8 devs to read and write files to SkyDrive, and allows device manufacturers to add SkyDrive to their devices," informed Jones.
And, also available is a "set of APIs for Live, Messenger, and Hotmail, allowing developers to use these services."