SkyDrive, which is part of Microsoft’s Windows Live suite, is a service that allows users to store files online and share them with themselves or others. This can only be done officially through a web interface, yet there’s speculation that Microsoft might soon release a SkyDrive client for desktop and mobile platforms.
According to a report, Microsoft is working on bringing a SkyDrive client to a multitude of platforms, such as Windows, Android, iOS and even Mac OS X. While no sources within Microsoft were cited, a recent job posting by the company reveals its interest in developing “SkyDrive client applications”:
We are looking for developers that are looking for their next challenge to build the highly distributed platform and multi-platform clients for the SkyDrive suite of products delivered through Windows Live and Windows.
Indeed, this job requires skills in a diverse range of programming languages, ranging from Objective-C to Java. Since Microsoft is likely just beginning the development of whatever might become of SkyDrive, it’s quite unclear as of yet what the SkyDrive client will include, yet we can speculate that Microsoft could be looking into directly competing with Dropbox, which is very popular cloud based storage service, by integrating SkyDrive right into Windows Explorer and Finder on the Mac, rather than just create a standalone client application. On mobile devices, Microsoft has the chance to innovate by integrating its file storage service deeply into Windows Phone 7 instead of just creating a standalone app.
Currently, there are workarounds (which we have featured in the past) that allow SkyDrive to be somewhat integrated into Windows Explorer, although these methods don’t integrate with SkyDrive’s features, such as control over permissions, making it almost essential to log into SkyDrive’s website to manually adjust them. In order for Microsoft’s official solution to work, all the features that can be found on the web version of SkyDrive must be replicable on the client.
The timing makes sense: the web version of SkyDrive was overhauled a mere two months ago, built from the ground up using HTML5 technologies. With a strong web version that will certainly last for many months, if not years, it now makes sense for Microsoft to work harder on expanding the service: clients for as many platforms as possible might be the best way to go about it.