Microsoft details cloud services for the Windows ecosystem

Microsoft has released some more information detailing the Windows Live services for the next upcoming instalment of the software giant's operating system. As the company continues to move away from the Windows Live and Zune brands, Microsoft Account begins to take over with services such as Messenger and Hotmail being rebranded for easier recognition.

The UI hasn't been the only element of Windows to be redesigned, as one can see in the below table the Windows Live services will all be renamed to match the simplistic new approach Microsoft has undertaken.

Those who have actively used Windows Phone will feel right at home with Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos / Videos and other new branding that will be present in Windows 8. It's interesting to see just how far the services have come. Skype isn't mentioned, but we're sure we'll see more details as to how VoIP will be further integrated into Windows 8 and Windows Phone. We've also yet to hear more surrounding Microsoft's new music service.

"Windows Live reimagined" (check out the video on the official blog post at MSDN for more information) will see the Microsoft Account act as a key to the storage of personal information and settings. Simply connecting the account to a Windows 8 PC will automatically setup and integrate contacts, email, calendar events, photos, SkyDrive and more. The same experience will be present on the big screen (and tablet) as it is on the smartphone.

The future's bright; the future's the cloud.

Source: Building Windows 8 (opens in new tab) (MSDN Blog)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Awesome! Cannot wait to see what they integrate in....
  • This is the logical next step. Soon the full XBox Live Experience will escape the XBox and be the same across all platforms as well. Soon the.device won't matter. The metro UI will be nearly the same across devices with some tweaks based on the form factor and windows will essentially be some entity that lives on a computer half way around the world. The only problem with all this consolidation is the fact that without an internet connection and a fairly decent one at that, you're screwed, because your local profile is only good until you logoff or log onto another device
  • The success of the Nokia Lumia 900 is just the beginning.. Basically gaining mindshare.. With Windows 8 on PCs/tablets and Nokia's Apollo offering (using PureView tech) for WP8, we'll see the true increase in market share.. Apollo will bring the needed software enhancements, Windows 8 will bring the apps, Nokia will bring the unique hardware, and these rebranded cloud services will bring the ecosystem.. Good stuff indeed..
  • Waiting for Windows 8.. :)
  • Xbox will bring the games and multimedia
  • I'm all in!
  • Without the cloud, can I still run my notebook and apps? I travel to remote locations/developing countries that just don't have internet access. Can I be off the cloud and remain productive with my computer?
  • Of course!
  • You should be able to.  There are plenty of caching techniques that "cloud" solutions use.  For instance, the SkyDrive Windows Client will sync data to your SkyDrive once an Internet Connection is established.  The same will be featured natively in Windows 8.
  • you can... you just wont be able to install them from store (logically) you can even log in with your Microsoft Account password withought internet, you can sync stuff, of course you must need internet for that to happen, so when you go to other computer you will see the changes if you ever did any. you dont need internet to use windows 8 at all, but you need it if you want the logical stuff like synching and then accessing stuff like store. but if you use an app, and then you dont have internet it wont affect anything, only if it uses the web to validate something.
  • You forgot one: "Live Nude Girls" will now simply be called "Whores".
  • Simply awesome stuff!
  • I've been with WP since it first came out and I'm glad to see that it's headed in the right direction. My brother got me into WP... He said why get an iPhone which is for old people. U should get the young blood OS that is fresh and new. He has wackdroid and badly wants a WP
  • Its really awesome that MS is heading to new era of comm. world.... Go for it!!!
  • Just finished installing W8 Consumer Preview on VirtualBox and must say after almost a year of using WP7 it does feel familiar, in a good way. Visual Studio 2011 Beta install in progress...
  • After a couple of hours W8 is nice and I could see this really working on a slate format. Will be ordering Samsung Series 7 for testing tomorrow. However, the Metro-fied Visual Studio 2011 is disappointing and shows not everything needs to be Metro, as much as I do like Metro.
  • Hopefully they come true on the migrating account issue that is bugging many people.
  • What's crazy is that it takes 10 years to realize continuity is a good idea. Not trying to hate, just sayin
  • Probably not correct forum for bit of a moan, but... Why is Excel in WP7.5 so bad? I bought into WMobile 6 for the ActiveSync facility with MS Office, esp Excel which I used to work on the road all the time, but no longer as the WP7.5 excel version is literally use-less - it cannot do a tiny fraction of the functions I could do previously on WMobile and I no longer use it. Why?? And don't get me started on Contacts (cannot copy and paste a contact etc). Love other aspects of WP but true mystery why links to MS Office have gone so backwards?
  • Word is almost useless as well. WP is definitely lacking in many areas and can't do things its predecessor could do. It is a consumer phone and as such consumers would likely only use Excel to view lists. All we can do is hope that the next version brings us back to where WM was in 2009.
  • Agreed, but MS should not dumb down their original core software to the lowest common denominator. Lets hope W8 gets back what has been lost. Am not optimistic though. Their focus seems elsewhere.
  • Man! Microsoft coming back!
  • so if the LIVE name is going away, what will the domain name be for microsoft accounts -- what will ??? email addresses change to?