Will SkyDrive provide integration with 3rd party storage services?
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.