Cloudy thoughts on Windows 8

As I’ve written before, I hate the ubiquitous nature that the word “cloud” has taken as as vendors from the biggest software developers to computer desk manufacturers simply throw the word on their brands to give the appearance of of modernity. That said, you’d have to be living under a rock to believe that the status quo will be maintained forever. The technology landscape is changing, extending, flattening. Individuals and organizations today have far more choice when it comes to service provisioning that was available in the past. Like so many, I’ve downloaded and have been playing with the Windows 8 Developer’s Preview. Without going into how I feel about specific aspects of such an early build, what is more than obvious is Microsoft’s push to cloud-enable Windows 8 and make it an operating system that can operate on mobile devices just as smoothly as it does on high powered desktop hardware. When you really think about it, cloud and mobility go hand in hand, a fact supported by Apple’s recent major foray into the space – iCloud. But I digress…

One of the first items of information you’re asked for after Windows 8 installs is you Windows Live ID. With this, Windows 8 will:

  • Allow you to synchronize items such as bookmarks and favorites between computers.
  • Seamlessly connect your Windows 8 computer to your SkyDrive account.
  • Synchronize information between Windows 8 and Windows Phones.

These are just the very tip of the iceberg possibilities that come to mind by making Windows Live a core element of the operating system. The point here is that expanding this seamless integrate between desktop and cloud could put Microsoft back into a major position of strength when it comes to both the desktop and mobile devices. Imagine being able to stop work on your PC at the end of a day, pick up your tablet and continue without interruption. The device becomes transparent; the user’s experience and needs, however, take center stage in this kind of scenario.

Personally, I’m excited by what I see coming in Windows 8 and I look very forward to seeing how Microsoft expands the “cloud hooks” that are so obvious in ways that continue to blur the lines of computing.

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