back to article SkyDrive on par with C: Drive in Windows 8.1

Microsoft has detailed, in a blog post just how SkyDrive will behave under Windows 8.1. Not everything in the post is new: we've known about offline storage and using SkyDrive as the default drive since the Windows 8.1 preview. Among the newly-revealed features is the ability for Windows Store apps to save to or load from …

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  1. Turtle

    ?

    "Not everything in the post is new: we've known about offline storage and using SkyDrive as the default drive since the Windows 8.1 preview."

    SkyDrive is the default drive?

    Are they out of their fucking minds?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ?

      Would you care to elaborate? I can think of many people who would like this feature. Not techies, but the sort of people who realise they need backup of some sort. Also I presume you can change the default.

      1. darklordsid
        Devil

        Re: ?

        Oh, yea, I already see Jonny Bubba Dude Luser Smith using its new shiny VistaBob 3.1 - sorry, 8.1 - slab (one of the 3 sold in the world) and deleting an important ( = p0rn) file from the default disk, don't know where, don't know when, don't know how was it named, and trying to recover it from SkyDrive "backup"...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ?

          It just saved my entire photo collection. Skydrive is a really good solution. Heavily recommend it.

          I got in a while ago and got a free 25GB, but I believe you still get 7GB for free...

          1. Teleporter

            Re: ?

            I have near-on 1TB of photos, so no way is any of that going near SkyDrive for the money they ask.

            1. Yet Another Commentard

              Re: ?

              Reading the linked page it does at present seem to force the offline copy folders to be on the C: drive. Which is a dealbreaker in many systems where SSDs are used and there's C: for system stuff and D: for data stuff, D: being quite huge.

              I have a feeling this is tied to the TIKAMisation of Windows, as the tablet devices only have one partition (I think, I don't have one) and MS seem intent on forcing desktop users out of the desktop. I assume they will say "just use our wizzy drive extender technology to make one massive C: drive" but that utterly defeats the point of having my data on a separate physical drive.

              My reading of "default" was similar to IE being the default browser, if you don't like it, change it.

              Skydrive is useful like dropbox for sharing photos and other items, but I have grave reservations about putting any actual personal data on there, such as anything from work, or my bank spreadsheet etc. I don't care if anyone sees a picture of some hill I took while on holiday.

              As others note, this isn't a backup service. It's more like having your files sync to a server. Delete them in one place they are deleted from them all once connected to the service. Personally, of the MS solutions, I preferred "Mesh" as a means of syncing files across devices.

            2. Bod
              Joke

              Re: ?

              "I have near-on 1TB of photos"

              Isn't David Cameron going to put a stop to that? ;)

            3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: ?

              Over a conventional UK broadband offering, you'd be hard pushed to upload it anyway.

              512Kbit ADSL upload -> 1/16MB per second

              1TB = 1000000MB

              16e6 seconds or roughly six months assuming a perfect connection.

          2. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: ?

            so your entire photo collection is stored "somewhere" with you have no knowledege of its backup status? and what is your upload at home? 1Mb? 2Mb? Its bad enough backing up over the network never mind uploading to the cloud.

            Err, no thanks. I have mine backed up to a raid 1 array which is periodically dumped onto a separate hard drive kept in a small fireproof safe (with documents, its only a small one). I also use spinrite on hard drives that I purchase before putting them into use - a great little app (if not a bit slow, leave it on over the weekend..)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: ?

              @Danny - I hate to point it out, but RAID isn't backup. Neither is a periodic dump. Also, typically a document fire safe isn't rated for tapes or disks, it'll get too hot in there during a fire, you also tend to have to use power tools to get into them after a fire. I've always been highly suspicious of spinrite which for various reasons has "snake oil" written all over it.

              Backup is automated, scheduled and versioned. Protection for a backup should be offsite and your disks deal with their bad sectors automatically, unless they're very old indeed.

              Or your data could be punted up to a cloud service where someone understands data storage and backup and you stand a sporting chance of getting it back if your house burns down.

              1. Steve Knox Silver badge
                Mushroom

                Re: ?

                Backup is automated, scheduled and versioned

                NO NO NO NO NO.

                Automatic, scheduled, and versioned backups are automatic, scheduled and versioned.

                Backup is simply the storing of data in more than one location. Anything more depends on your needs and wants.

                Quit trying to define backup for everyone based on your personal prejudices.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: ?

                  @Steve - You're dead wrong. You just described an archive.

                  1. Steve Knox Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: ?

                    @Steve - You're dead wrong. You just described an archive.

                    No, an archive is storage of old data (which may or may not exist any more anywhere else) usually with an eye toward preservation.

              2. Danny 14 Silver badge

                Re: ?

                Its a house. a normal everyday house. If it burnt down to the extent that the safe was compromised then photos are the LEAST of my worries. To be honest I wouldn't give a shit about them at that stage as my beloved gibsons will have turned to charcoal.

                As for spinrite, ive had it recover bad sectors enough to get data off drives and tell me a drive was shitty before I used it, it has worked for me and that's all I care about really.

                I know raid isn't a backup, it means if one drive on the nas dies I might have chance to replace it. Better than nowt. Yes I could use skydrive but with my 10/1 connection this would take a long time.

                I couldn't be bothered looking at the UK prices but skydrive is $50 per 100gb per year? Wow, no thanks. Surely 7gb free C:\ is not too hot?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: ?

                  @Danny - If you accidentally issue a "rm -rf *", or more worryingly don't notice a whole load of files being accidentally deleted, you'll not be getting them back, if you're relying on RAID.

                  I'm not suggesting that you use skydrive, it's good for small file collections that most people use. If you want to keep your stuff, back it up properly and take that disk offsite.

      2. bazza Silver badge

        Re: ?

        @AC 06:40GMT,

        "Not techies, but the sort of people who realise they need backup of some sort."

        Saving to any single default location does not a backup make, even in the Cloud...

        Besides, it just shifts the problem; Instead of relying on the dubious nature of spinning rust or forgetful Flash, SkyDrive users depend on the doubtful qualities of their ISP.

        Microsoft are going to have to think carefully from now on. They're rapidly turning Windows desktop into an "OS for Dummies". There's a lot of Windows users out there who are very far from being Dummies, who are seemingly being forgotten about by MS. Those users might just bugger off somewhere else.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ?

          "Those users might just bugger off somewhere else."

          We already have.

          1. Turtle

            Re: ?

            "'Those users might just bugger off somewhere else.' We already have."

            Well, *I* haven't buggered off anywhere. I'm staying with XP.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ?

          "They're rapidly turning Windows desktop into an "OS for Dummies". "

          OSx beat them to it!

        3. Wade Burchette

          Re: ?

          << Microsoft are going to have to think carefully from now on. They're rapidly turning Windows desktop into an "OS for Dummies" >>

          I disagree with that. They are turning Windows into an OS whose sole purpose is to give Microsoft more money.

          1. Lunatik
            WTF?

            Re: ?

            Yes, let's get Microsoft back to its old altruistic self when all it cared about was users' happiness and rarely bothered to even collect money for the software it gladly distributed for the common good.

      3. Daniel B.
        Boffin

        Re: ?

        I can think of many people who would like this feature. Not techies, but the sort of people who realise they need backup of some sort.

        Anyone thinking this feature is in any way a backup solution is really, really stupid. No, cloud storage is not a backup solution if it is synched to local storage; it only means that when you delete stuff by accident, your data destruction orgy is replicated on the cloud as well. Same thing goes for those who think RAID is a good backup solution. It isn't.

        Backups store data in another media, and that media is usually not insta-synched with the changes in the main storage system. Because backups are used when you fuck up on the main storage system...

    2. Jeroen Braamhaar
      Black Helicopters

      Re: ?

      The NSA probably called that they had issues with reading Windows users data.

    3. MattEvansC3

      Re: ?

      I don't think The Reg mean default on that way.

      I've been using 8.1 since the ISO was released and its never attempted to make SkyDrive my default primary drive, that still my Windows install drive. With its inclusion in File Explorer it becomes the default cloud storage drive as opposed to Google Drive, iCloud or Dropbox.

    4. Filippo

      Re: ?

      I don't think they mean it's the system drive. That doesn't make sense. I think they mean it's the drive where your collections (images, music, documents) are stored. Personally, I think it's a good idea - for those who are blessed with a decent broadband.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

        "I don't think they mean it's the system drive. That doesn't make sense. I think they mean it's the drive where your collections (images, music, documents) are stored. Personally, I think it's a good idea - for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

        'Blessed with a decent broadband'... And therein likes the rub folks. I could understand if MS were silently syncing files in the background, but Skydrive used for active editing of works in progress, surely not?

        There are always hiccups in net connectivity throughout the work day. This is especially so for home or retail net connections. There is no substitute for a local drive in terms of speed. If this news is accurate, then the routine Skydrive user better expect a sluggish file open dialog mirroring a local drive with bad sectors IMHO.....

        1. Richard Gadsden

          Re: "for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

          Silently syncing files in the background is how SkyDrive works.

        2. El Andy

          Re: "for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

          @AC12:22 "And therein likes the rub folks. I could understand if MS were silently syncing files in the background, but Skydrive used for active editing of works in progress, surely not?"

          Silently syncing in the background is exactly how Skydrive works. Any active editing of the document is working with a local copy, so it's no issue if you have glitch broadband or whatever (you can even "save" to Skydrive whilst you're offline and it'll just sync up when network is available).

          As a way of ensuring that documents are always available from any device you want, it's a neat solution. The placeholder feature coming in 8.1 will also help massively when one or other of those devices is storage constrained.

          And whilst it isn't a backup, as such, having documents synced with a cloud repository does at least give the man in the street some chance of data recovery in the event of a catastrophic device failure. That will certainly be welcome to many people.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "for those who are blessed with a decent broadband."

            @EL Andy

            "Silently syncing in the background is exactly how Skydrive works. Any active editing of the document is working with a local copy"

            Thanks for the clarification!

            "As a way of ensuring that documents are always available from any device you want, it's a neat solution."

            If MS were to offer user-side Encryption and not just hold the keys for the NSA then I'd say fair enough ...

    5. Wade Burchette

      Re: ?

      This is reason #1,617 for not using Windows 8.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    It all seems rather neat

    That is, if you like Windows 8; if you don't mind your default drive being tied to the availability of an internet connection; if you don't mind any old store app having (presumably) automatic access to it. I'm sure there will be many who will love it.

    Not for me, though. I tried Skydrive out and decided I didn't like the close integration with my local drive that was encouraged. ie I didn't trust MS with my local privacy. This is one step further than that and I don't think I'll bite, thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It all seems rather neat

      "That is, if you like Windows 8; if you don't mind your default drive being tied to the availability of an internet connection"

      NO!

      You have to set up sky drive first. No Skydrive means storage on the local disk.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Re: It all seems rather neat

        Fair enough, provided you still have the 'default' choice even if you do set up sky drive.

        I do wonder whether most users would be inclined to take advantage of the intended seamless integration with skydrive, given the requirement for an internet connection. My feeling is 'no'.

        All that being said, I actually think it is a decent idea if you want to go down that route.

        1. El Andy

          Re: @AC - It all seems rather neat

          @JustaKOS: Skydrive doesn't have a "requirement for an internet connection". In the most perverse circumstances you could theoretically save everything to the Skydrive without ever connecting to the internet at all, you'd just end up with everything saved on the local machine and never synced to a cloud location. It would "just work" and no differently from saving everything in your "My documents" folder. Obviously most people will connect to the internet though and thus most will get the benefits of the syncing technology, assuming that's what they want.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @El Andy - Re: @AC - It all seems rather neat

            I guess you're right technically, but it does seem rather pointless to use the SkyDrive as a purely local place to store your stuff - 'My Documents' would make more sense if you want to do that.

            I suppose the point is whether or not you consider any fixed device to be your 'home' device - ie the one place where everything should be available all the time. If you don't care, then the cloud is the place for you. If you do care, then that device will really need an always-on internet connection if you choose to use skydrive.

  3. Wang N Staines

    Yeah metadata, perfect!

    MS must be implementing NSA's requirements.

  4. Ashton Black's Alt.

    The one time....

    You need that "file" and you're out of 3G/WiFi coverage (For example, in the UK) you're screwed.

    Having read the article it's appears that this isn't a backup but the actual location for files now. I'm sure non-techies will be able to figure this out, once they can't get to them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The one time....

      "You need that "file" and you're out of 3G coverage and living in a field miles from civilisation you can still find a wifi hot spot somewhere. Maybe thinking ahead and planning your day would help."

      Sory it is 2013 and I can find a wifi hto spot somewhere around me, even in the middle of hadrians wall country I could find a wifi hot spot.

      1. Synkrox

        Re: The one time....

        It can store a local copy if you want and are going in areas like that. what about if you "really needed to check your email" ? Or "really needed to make a phone call" in a tunnel?? - sometimes, you gotta accept that you can't have everything all the time. Fact is its a nice feature to have and I will use it.

      2. keithpeter
        Windows

        Re: The one time....

        @AC08:16

        "Sor[r]y it is 2013"

        ...and I can find areas of the UK's second largest city where there is no mobile coverage and where the cafes definitely do not have wifi. Staffordshire Bull Terriers, yes, wifi, not so much.

        And that within 1Km of the Rotunda. Funny old country.

        Seriously: I thought the 'skydrive' folder worked like dropbox so you had local files synchronised with Web storage? No?

        The Tramp: I use Windows 7 at work and I imagine that will continue for some years...

      3. fruitoftheloon
        WTF?

        Re: The one time....

        You may be sory but I get anoyed wen I find tat i dont ger purfect signal out here in the contryside, actually I don't, but methinks you could do with some company...

      4. Marty Di Bergy

        Re: The one time....

        Airplanes. Most anyway. Trains too.

        And if you are not in your home country, 3G to sync might cost you your home.

      5. Daniel B.
        Facepalm

        Re: The one time....

        Sory it is 2013 and I can find a wifi hto spot somewhere around me, even in the middle of hadrians wall country I could find a wifi hot spot.

        Sorry it's 2013, I have better grammar than you and I don't get WiFi coverage at our client's office. At all. And internet access is heavily restricted, services such as SkyDrive are blocked as they are bandwidth hogs and the internet link is better used for work stuff.

        See? One size does not fit all! Curiously, this is the same problem MS is stumbling with on their TIFKAM approach...

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    That damned cloud again

    If the wisdom of MS is pushing us towards the cloud, we would probably be far better of using ChromeOS, at least it was written intentionally for the cloud.

    MS are treading on very thin ice, if it breaks they will sink......

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge
    WTF?

    "The newly-revealed features will be welcomed by Windows users"

    Welcomed?! Really?

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: "The newly-revealed features will be welcomed by Windows users"

      An accidental cut-n-paste direct from the press release, I assume.

  7. croc

    These are all very good features... IFF you have very fast, cheap internet and IFF what you are storing is something that you'd not mind your mother seeing.

    For all the others, these are TERRIBLE features... I DO have to pay for bandwidth, and quite a bit of what I 'store' is commercial-in-confidence type of stuff. I'd not like it if some bloke at the NSA thought that some 'Merkan company needed my ideas more than I did. So Thanks, Microsoft, but No Thanks from me. I'll use an OS that lets me store my stuff locally, on an encrypted drive...

    1. Neil B
      Happy

      Like BitLocker then.

      Facts. They're awesome.

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Now you see it, now you don't!

    I'm sorry but this service has been discontinued.

    Yours

    Microsoft Support

    1. Studley

      Re: Now you see it, now you don't!

      ...But you can still access your files if you upgrade to LiveCloudPlus™! ($10 / £10 a month, minimum 12-month contract)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Users files are saved by default into local storage exactly the same as is has every other version of windows.

    If you have skydrive and an internet connection, it gets synced up to the cloud as well.

    Not to let facts/common sense get in the way of an anti Microsoft commentard outburst of course.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      "synced up to the cloud as well"

      With your own choice of encryption?

      Oh, sorry, so anyone at MS and their three-lettered friends can see your personal data with negligible effort? Great....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "synced up to the cloud as well"

        That's easily fixed:

        https://www.boxcryptor.com/en/microsoft-skydrive

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: AC 08:09

          Thanks for the link.

          However, that is how MS should have done it by default: that *you* alone decide to whom you share the keys to access *your* data, not the Google-style "let us scan all your files" approach. Mind you, after the PRISM revelations about just how helpful MS are to the NSA, etc, I doubt I would trust their implementation.

    2. Getriebe

      @AC, 07:11 - thank you for pointing out what really happens. It works well for me, and as you say I yet to find a location where I can't use it. But I do not live in six finger banjo country

  10. localzuk

    Not welcomed by me

    I want flexibility, not a system which dictates things to me.

    I want my default storage to be on my machine, backed up on my own backup drives. I don't want to be beholden to a company which can change the rules of their service whenever they want.

    Not to mention, storage is cheap at home. Multi-TB disks are less than £100. Stick them in a NAS and you can get to them via any wireless device. Extend it further with web accessible interfaces and you can access them anywhere.

    No. This won't be welcomed by me.

    1. frank ly Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not welcomed by me

      Yes. If I can access the internet, I can access my domestic NAS box. The 1Mb/s maximum rate out of the house (in my case) may be a problem, but that is a different issue altogether.

    2. localzuk

      Re: Not welcomed by me

      An example came up yesterday - April O'Neil lost all her SDCC photos as Instagram took offense to a photo of her lying on a beach.

      What's to stop Skydrive changing their rules and not liking something you upload? Nothing at all.

  11. Jim Willsher

    F-all use

    Absolutely f**k all use if you a) live somewhere with crap 3G coverage, b) have a flaky broadband connection or c) really want that 41MB spreadsheet NOW and don't want a 30 second lag every time you open/save it. Or a/b/c combined.

    Cloud? Might as well be Mars for all I care, as Microsoft must be on another planet if they see this as being a winner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: F-all use

      "Absolutely f**k all use if you a) live somewhere with crap 3G coverage, b) have a flaky broadband connection or c) really want that 41MB spreadsheet NOW and don't want a 30 second lag every time you open/save it. Or a/b/c combined."

      Actually it works fine in those sort of conditions. It can stream in the background and it can cache a local copy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: works fine in those sort of conditions

        Is that you Ballmer?

        Did you read the post?

      2. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: F-all use

        cache local copy? Again shite. I work on something on a tablet, then decide tablet screen is too small so work on desktop. Then when I go back to the tablet I redownload again?

        If the document is shared on your network then the SAME copy is used all the time and no issues. Until we all get 100Mb symmetical internet connections the cloud will be fecking useless for most people.

        Home upload isnt great at the best of times. Then factor in an xbox playing online games, a teenager chatting on skype, wife watching catchup TV (not much upload there though) and you trying to find and edit pictures or a big PPT etc. No thanks.

        1. El Andy

          Re: F-all use

          @Danny 14: cache local copy? Again shite. I work on something on a tablet, then decide tablet screen is too small so work on desktop. Then when I go back to the tablet I redownload again?"

          Have you ever actually tried it?

          Because I do that sort of thing all the time via Skydrive and it works fine, I've always got the latest copy to hand, regardless of what device I'm using. And unlike a network folder at home, I still have reliable access to documents from anywhere else too, even other PCs via the web interface if need be.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Network Storage Addition

    I thought there was some dispute with the name “Sky”

    Surely some abbreviation for the above could replace those three troublesome letters.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Network Storage Addition

      I heard that Sir Kenneth Yellowhammer is suing them.

  13. Matt_payne666

    what a grumpy lot of old bastards you all are!!

    Ive used skydrive as a convienient backup for a few years and the service has bee fine - indeed its saved me when I accidentally dbanned the wrong drive while in a hurry!

    any files saved on my computer I can access from my phone or anyone elses computer, I can share any folder with a quick email link...

    all win 8.1 does is allow you to natively sync selected folders with the service - ideal if you have your main PC with lots of storage and another with limited, yet still have the complete folder structure to browse.

    My complaint is that its too slow and the lack of identification of remote files - I have used the desktop client for 18 months or so and synced files have a green sync icon, in 8.1 its too transparent... you have no idea whats online until you try to open it, then you have a wait while the file dwonloads - a disproportionate wait that causes the opening application to stop responding. to the point that I can double click a jpg - that will fire up photo viewer and freeze it, I can then calmly drag a similar sized jpg to the desktop have it download and open in a second instance of photo viewer, close it and the original picture I clicked on is still not displayed!

    1. Khaptain Silver badge
      FAIL

      Ironic, you start of by calling everyone grumpy ol bastards then you proceed to demonstrate what's not good about SkyDrive.

      By the way, did you actually read the article, SkyDrive will become the "default drive", in other words it's not a backup device at that moment, it becomes your "principal" and therefore "unique" copy of whatever file you are working on......

      And pray tell, what solution is available to you when SkyDrive goes titsup..

      1. Matt_payne666

        I did read the article, it explains how skydrive will act as the default drive in , I quote "Not everything in the post is new: we've known about offline storage and using SkyDrive as the default drive since the Windows 8.1 preview."

        in 8.1 preview skydrive acts as the default drive - build a blank 8.1 preview machine and as if by magic all your files are instantly available... Maybe you should try it before jumping to conclusions....

        When skydrive goes tits up I will use the locally stored copies of the files, or I may pull them off my SAN or I may recover them from tape...

        as for joe blogs... I guess he will just use the locally cached copies... any sort of backup is better than none...

        My grumps are not with skydrive, that so far has had zero downtime and for 125GB of storage is cheap enough... My grump is with the performance in a PREVIEW release of some software... which I hope will be tidied up by release...

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          "skydrive, that so far has had zero downtime "

          Don't worry, that WILL change.

  14. Roger Stenning

    You have got to be bloody kidding?!

    What twelve-fingered mutant cyborg lunatic came up with this damned stupid idea?

    I will NOT, say again NOT be allowing my machine to upgrade to 8.1 until I have some confirmation that I can change this damned dangerous 'default' back to a local, hard-wired, drive. Windows update settings on my machine have already been changed to match the above.

    1. Getriebe

      Re: You have got to be bloody kidding?!

      Have you READ the copious documentation, I say again READ the copious documentation about this on the web site?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You have got to be bloody kidding?!

        Why would he need to do that - surely an article on ElReg is all the information he needs. Why would ElReg mislead him?

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. tempemeaty
    Big Brother

    End game is to completely eliminate local storage of files on device altogether.

    I've been telling people Microsoft has been setting up to do this for a year now. I've been saying they would use limited mobile device drive space as an excuse for holding your files hostage in the cloud for money. They want to train the next generation of users to be complacent with it. Once they have your files they can exercise the power to limit your access to them in order to control you and/or extort optimum cock bag levels of money from you.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: End game is to completely eliminate local storage of files on device altogether.

      To be honest this is exactly what Apple, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, Google et al. are doing. But they are all very carefully managing the user experience by providing what are essentially glorified backup services. Pandora and Spotify have been testing the water with non-essential data such as music files in a clear value proposition; Apple and Amazon offer to take the work out of synching between devices. The exception would be Google with e-mail and calendar and docs but then it is trying to build these out into an outsourcing offering. But this is all still toes in the water stuff. The regulatory hurdles will go up: what happens to my data if provider X goes bust or gets taken over?

  17. jb99

    They need to go back to basics

    They seem to want to shovel in everything can think of making the whole thing an utter mess.

    If this is true they've amazingly managed to make 8.1 *worse* than windows 8 which takes some doing,.

  18. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Read the EULA

    its not your data peasants.

    I think they're really starting to get desperate about future revenue streams and are trying everything they can to make sure that they will have some piece of your action in the future.

    I'm all for the cloud - but its my choice of cloud I will be using - not one they hope they can foist on the unsuspecting.

    In the days before people started marketing old shit as the cloud one company I worked for had a loose agreement with a couple of other companies where we hosted small encrypted backup servers for them and they did for us. Have a chat with your friends about that as a possibility.

  19. Martin Maloney
    Black Helicopters

    Devolution?

    Back to the days of dumb terminals, hooked up to the company mainframe. Except that it's not just company ITs that have access to your files, now it's Microsoft plus the NSA and their various and sundry contractors.

    Perhaps I should have entitled this post

    Devilution.

  20. bri
    Terminator

    Microsoft forces new paid-for services

    Plain and simple. They see only mobile and single-purpose devices, they forget everything else. I suppose that they resigned on a traditional multipurpose PC platform altogether thinking that people will buy lightweight devices with their data on cloud or on NAS.

    What follows is a strategy of essentially competing against NAS box and other cloud providers with price of their sky drive while creating a new revenue stream in the process (NAS is more expensive upfront, but they also have a finger in this pie, just to be sure). But they have to kill the desire for data local to the device first. 8.1 suits that purpose.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But...

    ...Fairsearch (the Microsoft sock puppet) say that tying android users into using Google services is anti competitive . Can't wait to see them complain about this forced integration and lock in....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But...

      I can see the uses for this, but this is another clear indication that they aren't considering enterprise at all. Another feature that will make any decent sysadmin/manager think twice about letting any win8 kit in an enterprise environment. I mean there were enough reasons already, but this is one they can use scary words like "security nightmare" "data protection" and the like when explaining to the MD why we can't let everyone have the windows 8 touch-laptop like his that he's got and inexplicably likes because all he uses is netflix and webmail.

      1. Al Jones

        Re: But...

        Microsoft "aren't considering enterprise at all".

        Wow, imagine, a company whose life blood is selling licenses to enterprises has been exposed by a throwaway article on The Register that demonstrates conclusively that Microsoft has totally forgotten about the needs of their Enterprise Customers!

        Alternatively, The Register got it wrong.

        Again.

      2. fajensen Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: But...

        Not considering "enterprise"? Rubbish!

        The three-lettered Security Cirkus and their kinetic enforcers are plenty of Enterprise - add them up with the banks and you have about half the US GDP catered for. That these people do not care much for the health and prosperity of their clients ... Well, that's the Future.

    2. El Andy

      Re: But...

      Er, no. Fairsearch is complaining that Google is pushing other, even established, players out of markets by contriving it's search results to direct people to Google offerings instead. It's an entirely different argument.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...

        Fairsearch have officially complained that google using android to force use of google services such as gmail, google search etc is anti-competitive. MS forcing people to sign up for a live account for Windows 8 account management, their inclusion of Bing in local search (with no alternative provider) and this forced use of skydive is exactly the same situation.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tying

    Locking Windows users into another Microsoft product....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_(commerce)

  23. Mark3

    Use at your own risk...

    Salutory tale from the world of education -

    Under Live@edu teachers automatically got Skydrive for free, so it became their Home directory in practice even though there is no backup for data stored (still the case according to the EULA). This is why O365 doesn't include Skydrive.

    Put simply, if it can be used in this manner it will be and no amount of warnings will prevent a loss of data through user error.

  24. Mr Anonymous

    Useless whining here.

    Do everyone a favor, comp-market-information@ec.europa.eu is the place to complain.

    The last MS relevant case "Tying of Internet Explorer to Windows" is being repeated almost exactly with "Tying of Windows storage to SkyDrive" email them at say you want to complain about market dominance and restricting consumer choice.

  25. dorsetknob
    FAIL

    Microsoft announce Skydrive is to be renamed NSA Drive

    This is a hare brained idea probably driven by Obama one shaftyourass as a cost saving exercise on behalf of NSA

    Store your Data in the cloud so the NSA can save money by not having to physically raid your location to seize your spinning rust storage. while allowing Microsoft to rape your bank account for storage costs

    Just look at the commercial success of google netbooks ( FAIL )

    Cloud Storage and OS will never be popular BECAUSE OF SECURITY ISSUES

  26. Ikoth

    Further proof that one cannot polish a turd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately I believe Mythbusters proved you can polish a turd but that is no reason to base a business on the “Glossy Turd” model.

      GTDrive anyone?

  27. Duke2010

    I dont understand the fuss

    Its just a feature, you dont have to use it. I use Skydrive on Win8 its a neat feature. I found I have given up with Dropbox, Skydrive is better integrated. I dont use it to store all of my data and I dont have to. On Windows phone they have easy options so you can set what does and what doesn't go to Skydrive.

    I hate all the Prism and spying stuff as much as everyone else but Skydrive is totally optional and if you think about how you use it then I dont see what all this bashing is about.

  28. Gil Grissum

    Really??

    Nice,

    But Apple is giving up "Pages", "Numbers", and "Keynote", as part of iCloud. That competes well with Google Docs and MS Office 365 and it's FREE. Sure, it doesn't have any of the useless and complicated nonsense that is MS Office, but then, who uses all of that "Ribbon" crap, anyway?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    And apparently, being American, Ms may also shut your account and wipe all your data if say some of your files contain nudity, be it personal files or anything else. They scan all your data, so any "unauthorised" files such as music, ebooks, pdfs, movies etc may also lead to trouble. This had already happened to people.

  30. Irongut

    The newly-revealed features will be welcomed by Windows users

    Most Windows users won't know wtf is going on. They'll just know that their files take a lot longer to open & save on this damn computer and ask some poor sap to fix it. And the savvy ones will turn it off asap.

    The only Windows users that will welcome this are the two people with Surface RT who might actually need to save storage space.

  31. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    How not to listen to customers #445

    Out cycling on Sunday a friend of mine listed her woes with Windows 8 including the cloud stuff which she found very confusing. I think her notebook is due to go back to the shop with a request to install Windows 7 on it. Adding uncertainty to disorientation is not usually going to win many friends.

    Online backup services can be a boon but they must be backup first, as I think Apple is doing things. What could possibly go wrong? Well, you could realise too late that you need a fat internet connection to access stuff you use on a regular basis. More urgently and potentially a killer for Microsoft, in Europe at least, is that the NSA shenanigans could very likely jeopardise the safe harbour agreement between the EU and the USA which allows the data of EU citizens to be stored in American data centres.

    The justification for the whole thing that onboard storage can be reduced is also not really that appealing. Storage, even with the move to SSD, is not really the major price point for modern devices. For those with anyone nous they will ensure they have a backup service under their own control, possibly complemented with some online services from their ISP or similar and some freebies stuff à la Dropbox / Google Drive.

    Microsoft's strategy here is remarkably similar to that of Bing, Maps and Skype: coming late to the party and spending heavily to try and buy success. This did work with things like hard-disk compression, simple LAN, internet browsers and possibly the X-Box. But since then Microsoft have started amassing white elephants and discouraging their partners.

  32. ops4096

    FWLIW after thirty years since starting with ms-dos I'm finally out of here, going back in time to a CLI, booted my first linux up yesterday. If Microsoft doesn't want to do computers then I'm not going to do Microsoft.

  33. Zebo-the-Fat
    Thumb Down

    Why?

    I may be missing something here, but people are talking about storing files on skydrive and having a local copy, if I have a local copy why do I need it on skydrive as well? I have my own off site backup so security isn't a problem (more secure 'coz macrosoft/NSA can't get at it!)

  34. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Adapting to their users

    The privacy concious people have switched to Linux a long time ago, while the rest of the population simply doesn't care. It's sad, but most people using Windows 8 probably don't care.

    That's the problem with closed software and hardware bundling. It doesn't matter what _you_ want. What's relevant is what some CEO at some company thinks people want. That's why people use Free Software. With Free Software you have the right to change your software in any way you want.

    If you don't like the rules of the "Proprietary Software" game, then stop playing it.

    1. Al Jones

      Re: Adapting to their users

      The "right to change your software in any way you want" is of fuck all use to 99.999% of the population. The average Joe is no more able to modify Firefox, Thunderbird or LibreOffice than he is anything from Microsoft.

      You don't like the way they've changed feature X in this months version of Firefox? Tough! You can keep using an old version that still has the feature you like, as long as you don't mind not getting any security patches.

      That's the reality, and the only part of "free" that is actually useful to the man on the street is free as in beer.

  35. patrick_bateman

    "Rivals may feel Microsoft Microsoft has thumbed through its playbook of moves dedicated to making sure its own services behave beautifully under Windows"

    And whats wrong with that, if i had a windows phone....

    Um... isnt that what Apple always does;

    I have given up trying to get a iphone working without using itunes, apple tv - without itunes, mums ipad calendar and email sync without 3rd party apps, connecting an apple screen to a non apple device.....

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