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Cloud in your living room: SkyDrive launches on Xbox 360

A Cloud in your living room: SkyDrive launches on Xbox 360

Microsoft has announced today that a SkyDrive app is finally being made available for the Xbox 360 console, further extending the machine's usefulness in the living room. The SkyDrive service shouldn’t need much introduction for Windows Phone users, providing cloud connected storage for photos, videos and documents of all types.

Currently apps are available for Windows, OSX, Android and iOS devices but today the essential ability to access your cloud storage across all your Microsoft devices is now a reality.

Said to be going live after 10AM Pacific Standard Time later today the app will appear in the Xbox Apps Social category. The app predictably looks quite similar to the version on Windows 8, providing a now familiar Metro theme to navigate around your content.

Last month, we announced that SkyDrive usage had doubled in the last 6 months, building on the general availability of Windows 8. With the growth of Windows 8, we’re seeing more and more people choose SkyDrive as the easiest way to store and share their photos, documents, and other files.  Mike Torres, Group Program Manager, SkyDrive apps had the following to comment on the app:

“Starting today, we’re bringing even more value to SkyDrive and Xbox customers with a new SkyDrive app for Xbox 360. This means your favourite content is now only one click away, whether you are using the web, your PC, your phone, or now, even your big screen TV.

Dan Somrack, one of our newest Program Managers, authored this post. Dan just joined us from Cornell University earlier this year and he drove the final release details of this project.

The app will be going live later today. You can expect to see it on your Xbox after 10AM PST.”

These are the primary features of the app on the Xbox 360:

  • Shared photos & videos. Share a meaningful event with your friends or family by viewing photos & videos on your TV, or view photos & videos others have shared with you through SkyDrive. Imagine being able to view cherished photos and videos shared by friends and family —like a musical performance, a kid’s birthday, or baby’s first steps—on your TV.
  • Snap and see. For Windows Phone users, snap a picture and see it appear almost immediately in your camera roll on the big screen. This feels like magic! For example, you could take a quick snapshot of your child making a funny face, fire up the SkyDrive app on your Xbox, and view it right away on your 50” screen. Just make sure you’re using the same Microsoft account sign-in for both Xbox LIVE and your Windows Phone.
  • Party slide show. Plan a great slide show to play in the background of a dinner party. For example, you could start a slide show of a recent trip for friends, or have holiday-themed photos and videos playing during a holiday party.

The app supports Kinect voice and gesture controls too so you can shout and wave your hands and arms frantically at your console. Later today when it becomes available you’ll be able to grab the app from the Xbox 360 directly as per below:-

  • Turn on your TV and your Xbox.
  • Go to Apps, and then select Browse Apps.
  • In the Social category, select SkyDrive.

Microsoft has stated their goal to become a devices and services company, they also have a grand plan for ‘Three screens and the cloud’. SkyDrive is the glue that will bind all these screens together, take a photo on your phone, upload it to SkyDrive automatically and then see it almost instantly on the TV. Since SkyDrive launched they have seen an explosion in the amounts of data customers are storing, today they are making it just a little easier to get to that content.

We’d like to hear from you, let us know how you’re using SkyDrive and what you’d like to see from the service down the road. We know the SkyDrive team are avid readers of our site so comments could be a good place to make your voice heard.

Source: Inside SkyDrive;Thanks, @EasyPeasyJD, for the tip!

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Reader comments

Cloud in your living room: SkyDrive launches on Xbox 360

102 Comments

 
Some thoughts from a user peeking over the fence of Apple's walled garden:
So you buy a Windows Phone and you get SkyDrive for free. You buy Xbox 360 and SkyDrive is a premium service. Microsoft, bring parity! Make it either a completely free or premium service across the board. Seeing how everyone else has chosen the free route, I'd say the choice is self-evident. 

As long as these new features require a Gold membership I'm not really interested. It's $90 a year just to use the SkyDrive then (what it costs in Norway at least). My noisy Xbox 360 is a poor multimedia platform. If you already have Gold for other uses it is of course a nice new feature.

+1. I don't use XBL Gold for gaming so it's hard for me to make a business case to pay for it when it comes to the other "features."

Shop around... retail it's around $75 in Australia, but I usually get online codes for $50. Last time it had 2 months bonus, so it was 14 months for $50. Make sure to go to a reputable retailer.

I've never paid more than $40 for a year of live... I always wait for deals and they always come.  just have to time it right and be patient

You make it sound like save games are more than 1-2 MBs a piece.  I have been gaming for more than 5 years, have a GS of over 36000 [meaning I have played a lot of various games] and barely use half of my current cloud storage.

The big weakness for my XBox is lack of accessibility to music. DLNA is pants, XBox Music is limited.
I want to be able to say "Play this, then this", or "Play all of this on shuffle". I'm really hoping SkyDrive will be the glue to make this work across my 3 screens and am a little disappointed it still won't happen even with this release. Perhaps it will come....

You can create Xbox music playlists on your WP8, they show up in Xbox music on the Xbox.  You can "play this then this" via the playlist, you can "play all of this on shuffle" as well.
 

I currently store all my movies on my 125gb SkyDrive. This means I no longer have to smartglass avengers (for the 10th time) from my surface to my 360.. I presumably can just play it via the SkyDrive app. Here's to hoping it works that smoothly =_=

I have been using gold membership for years, I don't understand why people complain about it. Its not that expensive and its worth it.

To be fair, if you live in the Western world, have electricity, the big screen, the Xbox itself, and an internet connection - then you can afford Gold. For which you get a great experience, great social, excellent content and great matchmaking system. Xbox is to consoles what Steam is to the PC. About the price of 2 Starbucks coffees per month? Cheap as chips, literally.

Well, it's more about "perceived value" than actually affording it. I can definitely afford Gold, but it all depends how much use I will get out of it.

Me too. I've been a gold member for about 5 years now. I didn't mind paying until recently. If I'm paying why do I have advertisements on every page of my dashboard???? On most phone apps the free version has ads. The paid version don't. On Xbox live you pay and get ads. I feel like I'm getting screwed. Gold members should pay and get live with no ads. Silver should be free and get live with ads.

Yes there small but I'm a paying gold member. They shouldn't be there at all. I can see where they should put them on silver members but not gold members. What makes it worse is when you accidentally land on it. The volume on them are way to loud.

But I've very rarely seen anything on there that isn't somehow related to what I normally do on Xbox anyway. If I go to the main pages, the tiles show me what's new and what's on sale. To me, this isn't like an annoying ad that says drive this shitty car. Though i do think that more customization is necessary on the home screen (pinning on main pages rather than in a folder). Aside from that, any marketplace you visit "advertises" what they are selling.
Edit: I think maybe you were just talking about the one advertisement tile. I got annoyed the first time I saw it, but it's so small I don't even notice it anymore. I do agree that a premium service should have no ads, but usually even that one is about games and such.

wow took the words right out of my mouth!!! I CANT STAND the adds!!.. and they are not small! maybe i don't want to see trailers or new movies! at least let me choose to turn the feakn things off.  tell me how it makes sence to have a humungous box in the middle and all sides and then the top little left box is showing me my game that I spent $50+ for. it really annoys me. I like xbox and live but I feel like its just another cable box with all the adds. It might eventually make me switch.... imagine your surface or phone having boxes of adds all over it! people wouldn't put up with it!! 

This totally sucks!!
 
How on earth can they require Gold memebership for free services?? It's not like the xbox division have to buy a lot of new servers to store the skydrive data!
Until they drop the pay-wall this service is totally unusable!
Shame on you Microsoft to demand payment for free services!

Frankly I'm not surprised. Netflix is free, but you need XBL Gold to see it through the Xbox. Roku doesn't ask for a yearly fee to watch Netflix through their device. This is typical Microsoft relying on their paywall for everything. I personally won't contribute to it, but, as you can see in the comments here, plenty of people don't mind paying for it.

Netflix is not free and neither is my mother. Though she is of "easy virtue" (wink, wink), like Netflix she too has a monthly fee for her services. Any takers?

Its not free. Support, manpower, bandwidth, servers etc All have to paid for.
The reason Xbox Live is so great _is because we pay_
Sony had terrible security issues, directly attributed to the lack of resource and investment.

Quit b*tching like a Bit Torrent want everything for nothing PC downloader. Nothing is for free.
Xbox Live gold is litereally cheaper than chips (My 2 visits per month to a fish a chip shop costs more than Xbox Live Gold!)
 

Sooooo .. your saying 4$ a month is to much for a reliable online service? Bandwidth, Staff, Servers all you know cost money. Also their is that thing called playstation network if your so bothered by it .. Enjoy!

Love it! Why people complain about gold membership? It's premium service and comes with lots of advantages and rewards, and its not that expensive.

I truly understand the argument, but if you are paying $60+/year you are doing it wrong. I just checked Amazon. $45. That's $3.75/mo. Also, you can easily snag a few months free by using Bing Rewards.

If you have 3 friends it's even cheaper. You can get the family plan. 4 accounts for 99. So technically you can get it for 25 a year.

I wonder if most of the people complaining are paying $250+ for cable+Internet, $200+ for cell+data, and $100+ for POTS phone, and $50+ for all their streaming services.

Exactly. Its a nonsense argument by petty juvenile whiners, who probably spend more on coffee in a year.
Its NOT free, nothing is free. Bandwidth is not free. Support people are not free. Server are not free.
Such an idiotic argument. Its not a free service, get over it. Pay or go elsewhere whiner.

I have no problem with your comments if gold didn't have ads. Why do I pay for gold and still have the ads??? No app is like that. If you pay you should be ad free. If you got silver you get ads.

Who the hell would pay that much for anything?!?! I hope that's a bargain yearly cost, instead of an outright rip-off monthly cost.

Xbox live is unrivaled in many areas. Not to mention the amount of innovation that has stemmed from the Xbox live platform over the years. I'm happy to pay a yearly fee that equals roughly $5 per month. On another note everyone wants something for free. I buy all my games and movies and will continue to. I didn't grow up with money but have always worked hard for it. The engineers behind Xbox live work very hard and have created a platform that deserves your $5 a month. Skip your cup of Starbucks once a week and enjoy your gold membership its well worth it.

Awesome!! Been using SkyDrive since its inception, have 25gb plus Xbox game storage. With windows phone I never have to worry about backing up pictures! They automatically upload, so transparent and seamless

Be careful.  I think that automatic upload to SkyDrive does not keep the original resolution, but a smaller version of the original.  Not exactly "seamless".

That is the case for WP7.x, not so for WP8 where you can choose to auto-upload with the original resolution.

I don't know if its matter of economics (though I'm sure that is the case for some), but more so a matter of paying to use services you already pay for anyways. Whether or not its a much inferior service, it just looks funky that PSN users don't have to pay again to use Netflix or Hulu Plus. I'm okay with paying for XBL as I haven't had to pay for internet access for quite awhile. So its not costing me too much.

"I don't know if its matter of economics (though I'm sure that is the case for some), but more so a matter of paying to use services you already pay for anyways."

+1000000 That's the argument that some people here don't want to see.

 
It's crazy how many people pay for Xbox Gold. I have a hard time doing so since:
1. I don't play my Xbox anymore since my PC is much more powerful.
2. In order to use my Xbox as a Roku type device or even use SkyDrive I have to pay MS money to use the streaming services that I'm already paying for. 
3. Even if I was willing to use my Xbox as a Roku type device it's so damn loud I'd have to crank up my TV to block out any sound from my (gen 1, yes we still exist) Xbox. 
Maybe with the next Xbox I'll get more compelling reasons to pay for it. 

It's crazy how many people whine about having to pay for it. All the traffic of those services still pass through Xbox live servers. Why should a paying users experience suffer because of free users hogging up the bandwidth?

Right the same thing could be said about SkyDrive though.
All my pictures are hitting there server why am I not having to pay for it? But you don't and yet they seem to be doing just fine financially. 
How does Roku do it, I don't have to pay Roku a subscription to use there hardware and yet they have plenty of telemetry data and request hitting there servers. 
Its possible.
Also I wasn't 'whining' as you so eloquently put it. I was commenting about it, which is what the purpose of the comments section is. By the way if you think MS is so ineffecient to think that they are processing all Netflix videos through there servers you would be completely wrong. They handle request traffic once that connection is established is passes that off to Netflix. 
 

Roku doesn't have gamers, your argument is so stupid

(PS My mother was a raging alcoholic and my father abused drugs, hence my irrational behavior here on this site. My apologies.)

 
I see that you don't have a counter to my legitimate arguments. 
Did you know that 40% of users that have Xbox don't even game? 
What about the fact that SkyDrive doesn't charge you to use their service? 
What about the fact that traffic would be minimal through MS Xbox live servers? 
It's ok that you don't have answers. I didn't expect them from you. I don't understand why you have to be so pessimistic, but I'm starting to expect that from you as well. 
I'm sorry I'm not blindly in love with MS like you appear to be. Just keep dishing out the money you love to spend. Are you one of those people that are paying for Xbox Music subscription and then only able to access that on the Xbox console if you pay for the additional gold subscription? 
If so that makes me smile. 

That's 40% extra load that couldn't be compensated for by server upgrades if it was free.

And you're right, I do love spending money when I have it on the things I want/need plus it helps the economy. Too bad my "money" comes from trading services in back alleys with unkempt and disreputable men! LOL Speaking of, need to get to the clinic...something ain't right down there today.

Your handle begins to make more sense now. We can go round and round on this.:)
Maybe we should agree to disagree.
I believe MS could easily handle this tiny load since they are just quick connection requests, and they have proven this model works with other services that they provide.You don't feel that way and that is fine. 

MS would be able to make the server upgrades because Xbox Live Gold subscription would be there. I understand why MS wants to charge for Gold when it comes to Multiplayer that costs a lot of money to host servers.

I think you're right and agree with your statement, which is surprising since I initially disagreed. Jolly good show.

I'd come up with something witty to day as a retort, but alas, I'm incapable of original thought, so I often resort to 5 year old tantrums :-/

You can use SmartGlass as a controller, so yeppers! (I like SmartGlass, but I wish it did more.)

I have a very different issue. We have 2 windows phones with different live accounts and an Xbox with a 3rd live account. There is no way to merge them or have multiple logons. So while I could abandon my Xbox live account and use one of our phone live accounts, there is still no way for my wife and I to both make use if this feature.

I dont know if I understand your delimma. If you had the family gold account you could both login to the xbox using your own live accounts. Thats how my daughters and I use ours. We all have Lumia 920's with our own XBL accounts and I just pay 99 a year for the family.

Funny how this weekend we had friends over and I said to my self. Man if only SkyDrive was available I could show them this video. On my big screen. Haha. And now look. Good job MS

I have only one question...will SkyDrive finally recognize landscape/portrait photo orientation?
 

This is cool. Will work great on my SkyDrive 25 gig and no need for gold membership to use it on my new 360 I gotten 3 months ago

Ditto here as well. Have had an xbl gold account for over five years now and content to pay it. The more they add the better deal gets for me. Now if the fee goes up.....

After getting an Xbox a few months ago, I am totally disappionted and not a fan.  Nice games, but paying an extra fee to use all the free services I use on my computer that is sitting right next to my Xbox, not to mention right here in my pocket is COMPLETE BS!  Huge MS fail right now given the changes over the last five years.  I understand it used to be sort of a novelty to have Xbox and the subscription, but now it's just stupid to pay monthly fees to use free apps.  I'm not an Xbox fan because of this and would recommend other gaming systems.

I cant believe u don't think all the live stuff is good value for 2.5 quid a month. They manage your network and content on a cool and useful appliance. Can you control these apps with your voice and gestures too?

You do realize that other gaming systems take a similar approach towards things? They are all focused on providing you with services that will turn your console into a home entertainment system - that costs money. 
and if you REALLY don't have a use for it then you made a mistake by buying the xBox. 

I tried to use skydrive on the xbox browser the other day and thought. "wouldn't it be useful to have a SkyDrive app?" sluggish, pics ok, no video. This app will be cool.
And did u know there was a Sainsbury app coming?

Get a ps3, Android or iPhone and you're straight! You'll have a blu ray player that can stream movies and surf the web, and a phone that will allow you to purchase and rent movies right on the device without any subscription.

Lol great comment to post on a Windows Phone site but in that case, the devices don't talk to each other. Even though Xbox purchased content can't be played on Windows Phones, there is still an element of synergy between the two devices - this is what makes the Microsoft ecosystem so appealing in the first place. With the PS3 and Android/iOS all you have is 2/3 different devices doing different things. Sure, you can buy and watch movies on both but you are doing that separately. How's that any different from buying a movie for your Xbox and then buying one for your Windows Phone?

SkyDrive is now available to download.. The app isn't viewable as of yet, but you can use the search feature to get it.

I use SkyDrive to stir a ton of data. Some of it is Confidential (for example I keep a set of medical records there, Company information etc). Thus is not stuff I want my kids and their friends browsing thru, and entering a PassWord in front of people pointed to the TV will not be confidential for long. Unless you can compartmentalize SkyDrive into Public and Private areas I can't see using it too often on an XBox.

It does irk me that I need to have an XBox Gold subscription to use apps like IE on my XBox, using my own hardware, resources, and internet connection, when I can use IE on my desktop, phone, and tablet without such nonsense.  This is a paywall in the true sense of the word, because Microsoft (a company that I otherwise, let's face it, adore) is not adding any value to the browsing experience with their subscription, unless the websites need to pass through Microsoft's servers before being displayed on the XBox.

And that's exactly the case. All traffic passes through the Xbox live servers. Ever tried using them without being connected to Xbox live? You can't.

I was a paid user of LiveDrive for several years. They went from moderately prices with good value (app support, etc), to greedy asking hundreds of dollars per year.  They wanted to rebill me without even a reminder notice. I said FU they said "we keep your data." 
SkyDrive is without question a great service.  Its uncomplicated and definitely gets what I need done across everything I own, now!  I just wish I could pay for more than a hundred GB of storage.

What I really want is a better means to seamlessly consolidate and share stuff that we deem "family" photos, videos, and music. My wife and I want our family stuff kept together and easily and seamlessly accessible from either of our Live account logins on Windows PCs, our Windows phones, and our Surface.

I've got the app, but I can't log in to it. I get an error code 0z80048821 (which is not found on windows.microsoft.com as it suggests) and "Please Try Again in a few minutes". I've restarted, uninstalled, reinstalled, and still nothing... Anyone had the same/similar or can shed any light?

So I shot video on a Lumia 900, saved to Skydrive, started Xbox, tried to play video, Xbox/Skydrive FAILURE, can't play it.... WOW and all MS products.