Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Archive for December 2011

Will SkyDrive provide integration with 3rd party storage services?

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In his blog post Does SkyDrive’s “move” dialogue box point to future storage locations? on Liveside.net Michael Gillett speculates that we may soon be able to move items stored on our SkyDrive to our physical devices and possibly to a SkyDrive folder belonging to someone else:

I wondered if there were any locations on offer other than “Michael Gillett’s SkyDrive”

I wonder, for example, if users will be able to store items on other users’ SkyDrives. It doesn’t make a huge amount of sense but I don’t see the need for name to be included next to SkyDrive otherwise. What I expect is more likely though is that users will be able to choose devices, I expect Windows 8 to begin with, to store files and folders too. This would be great. I also wonder if users will be able to browse the files and folders on devices just as they can browse them currently on SkyDrive and move things seamlessly between SkyDrive and any of their devices

I suspect Michael may be making something out of nothing but nonetheless its fun to speculate as to what capabilities SkyDrive may provide in the future. While Michael’s ideas around sharing to physical devices seem plausible I think, given Microsoft’s propensity for partnering, it is much more likely that if anything we will be able to move files from SkyDrive to 3rd party storage services such as Dropbox or Box.net. That is, I think, very compelling and certainly fits with what I perceive to be a push to place Windows at the heart of a person’s online services and experiences.

Back in June 2008 I was lucky enough to gain access to the “Tech Preview” of the service that eventually became Windows Live Mesh; in that Tech Preview the capabilities of Live Mesh were underpinned by an API known as the Live Framework and one of the posited capabilities of that API was “Federated Storage” (which Oran Dennison talked of in his blog post The Quest for Raw Feeds in the Live Framework). I take “Federated Storage” to mean 3rd party storage services so clearly the scenario that I described above is something that Microsoft have been considering for sometime.

This is of course pure speculation, hopefully 2012 will see some, or even all, of these ideas come to fruition.



Written by Jamiet

December 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm

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Login to Windows using your Lastpass account?

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I have been playing close attention to news around Windows 8 and one of the most notable snippets to come out is that the Metro-ised (is that a word??) version of IE will not allow add-ins. Ostensibly I think this is a good thing but it does mean that Lastpass (which I am a huge fan of) will not work and that bothers me; I have questioned this decision on a Windows 8 forum: Lastpass – how will it work in Win8?

I was placated somewhat by the news that website credentials will roam with our Windows Live ID (a feature that has been known about for some time and was confirmed on a blog post Protecting your digital identity published yesterday on the Building Windows 8 blog) however this is not a 100% replacement for Lastpass because:

  • It will only work on Windows devices and even then only on Windows 8 and beyond
  • Lastpass provides a number of other useful features (e.g. password generation)

Hence I’m in a quandry as to whether I will/should carry on using Lastpass when Windows 8 drops. Interestingly though the following statement has been released on Lastpass’s Product Roadmap:

  • Windows Login Replacement

    LastPass will soon be tightly integrated not only with your browser, but also into your Windows operating system. You’ll be able to sign into your Windows login account using your LastPass master password and once done, be automatically signed into LastPass.

This is very interesting and points to what I speculate could be an unannounced Windows 8 feature – that is, the ability to login to Windows using different identity providersl. After all, if we can login to Windows using our Lastpass credentials, why not with our Facebook or Google credentials too? Up to now the only identity providers that we know for sure that can be used to login to Windows 8 are Windows Live ID and (for enterprises) Active Directory.

  • Could it be that Windows will allow us to use other 3rd party identity providers as well?
  • Will we be able to login to Windows using our Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon or Google accounts?
  • Is this why we are, today, able to associate other identities with our Windows Live ID via https://profile.live.com/Services/ ?

I’m speculating here of course but I’m looking forward to knowing the answers to these questions. Opening up Windows to other identity providers would be very compelling indeed, let’s hope this is what is happening.


UPDATE: On 18th March 2012 I asked Lastpass’s Twitter account if there might be any news:

They replied saying:  

So, it looks like there will be some announcement at some point. Hopefully its not too far away.

Written by Jamiet

December 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm

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