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Old 06-04-12, 07:30 PM   #1
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Post Hands-on: Windows 8's SkyDrive

The Metro-based SkyDrive application doesn't do PC synchronization, but it plugs into the rest of the Metro application environment.

Windows 8 Release Preview

There's a pretty clear dividing line in Windows 8 Release Preview between the split personalities of the operating system. The Metro interface is all about Windows 8's ultra-simple touch tablet and cloud client future, while the "desktop" environment is all about Windows' thick-client past. It's important to keep that in mind when looking at how Microsoft has implemented its SkyDrive cloud storage in the Windows 8 Release Preview. There's what comes with Metro and what you can do in the desktop. The two have very little to do with each other.

We've already looked at how Windows 8 has absorbed some of the features of the deprecated Windows Live Mesh service as part of its Metro settings synchronization. If you were expecting the SkyDrive app for Metro to do the file synchronization bit, you're in for a disappointment: the Metro app is strictly about fetching files from and manually pushing them to the cloud.

But there are benefits to how SkyDrive has been implemented in Windows 8 (at least as of the Release Preview). For one thing, SkyDrive is integrated into many of the other Metro apps as a storage option (such as Photos and Mail). And its integration with the Metro browser allows document files to be launched automatically in the Web version of Office apps so you can edit and e-mail them.

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