Thursday, March 22, 2012

A proper connection to SkyDrive

I must admit I have only just had a look at the on-line Windows 8 Consumer Review, but the one feature that did strike me as something they have finally got right is the integration of Skydrive. Right now you need to get to SkyDrive via Windows Live Gallery (if you don’t have it it can be downloaded for free from here) or use the Web based access via Hotmail/Windows Live Messenger. The windows Live Gallery is fine for photos and give you a web Album, but you have to remember and manage the two locations. The integration in Windows 8 appears to make the issue of weather you have the file on your computer or in the cloud irrelevant, their slogan is your windows, everywhere.
The other area that may be of most interest to photographers will be what apps are available, I expect there to be a great rush of Photocentric apps developed by third party, probably a lot more or the same as those currently available for the android or Iphone/Ipad. So do you really want to want to run something that runs on your phone on your PC as well? Probably yes because you really need more screen real estate to get the most out of most photo applications. Also a few apps might give you all the photo processing you want and needed and this will be much cheaper than a blotted photo/image software package that costs the earth and takes for ever to learn how to use.
There is a beta version of widows 8 (its a pre release trial rather than a true beta release) that you can download and test now. You can even create a portable version that can be booted from a USB key or external drive. This will be of most use for those wanting to develop apps for this new platform.
The interface, based on the Metro design language, looks a lot more tablet or touchscreen oriented than I expected and yet disturbingly familiar! Then I realised I had seen it before, its exactly like the XP version of Windows Media Center, which I actually still like and use because I can work it from the couch via a remote. I have an older PC connect to my wide flat screen TV and it is perfect to show family and friends Slide shows and home movie.
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