Microsoft has detailed plans to integrate its SkyDrive cloud storage service more closely with Windows 8, a move that will enable users to seamlessly access files from any computer and use SkyDrive as a remote access service to fetch files held on their own computer.
In its latest update posted to the Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft said SkyDrive will evolve with Windows 8 from being just a website into a true "device cloud" for Windows customers.
As part of these plans, Windows 8 will get a Metro-style SkyDrive app, while SkyDrive will also integrate into Windows Explorer on the desktop, and users will also be able to use SkyDrive to fetch files remotely from any other PC of theirs which is running SkyDrive on the desktop.
The SkyDrive app will be available in the upcoming Consumer Preview of Windows 8, Microsoft said, and thanks to the "charms" and "contracts" features in the new platform, SkyDrive functionality will be available to any app as a location to open and save files to, as if SkyDrive were a local drive connected to the PC.
For developers, this means that any app they build which accesses files will automatically support SkyDrive without any additional work.
Writing on the blog, Microsoft's Mike Torres and Omar Shahine, group programme managers for SkyDrive, said the aim was to make it easy for users to have their personal files and data available, even when moving to a new PC.
"With Windows 8, we wanted to make sure that your files would be instantly available and up-to-date as you move between PCs - without configuring add-ons or using a USB drive," they said.
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