Skip to main content

Microsoft, Google and more team up to help you transfer data between services

Microsoft Logo at Ignite
Microsoft Logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and Facebook have partnered to form the Data Transfer Project (DTP), a new initiative whose goal it is to make transferring your data between services much easier. Initially founded in 2017, DTP's aim is to create an open-source platform that apps and services can adopt, ultimately stoking competition by giving consumers the ability to easily try out new services while keeping data they've built up on another (via The Verge).

"Data Transfer Project (DTP) extends data portability beyond downloading a copy of your data from your service provider, to providing consumers the ability to directly transfer data in and out of any participating provider," the project's website states.

DTP takes advantage of the existing APIs and authorization mechanisms for each service, transferring the data supplied into a common format, then moving it into the new service's API. This can be used for everything from contact information and email to media like photos and music.

DTP Flow

DTP is currently in "very active development," but it's not hard to see how useful an open standard for portable data could be for consumers. As an example, porting playlists between music services, which is currently a major barrier for many, could be automated through DTP. Similarly, giving another email app a try could be made much easier by automating the transfer of your contact data.

Of course, all of this depends on major services eventually adopting DTP. However, given the open nature of the project, it's easy to envision more companies hopping on board.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

7 Comments
  • That should make transferring data much easier
  • This should've taken place 10 years ago...A notable absentee is Apple!
  • They'll wait for someone else to build the "provider" and "exporter" and then figure out how to charge the rest of the app ecosystem 30% for its use.
  • Apple would buy that company and then say they invented the whole idea.
  • No, apple already does this as long as you have Apple devices
  • Finally!!! Hallelujah 🙌
  • This is the kind of stuff that EU regulations should encourage and be served as a standard for competition legislation. And tech Giant(s) can be fined based on the lack of API end-points they provide. Makes excellent sense to me. It would only require someone younger than 75 in EU Legal Office to come up with this as well.