In a recent Windows 8 M1 leak, it appears that some new interesting information about the next version of Windows has cropped up. From some text in files, it seems as though email accounts will be able to be used as Windows accounts, allowing you to synchronize things such as settings, favorites, and other content, according to Softpedia.
Seeing as this is information coming from a leaked build of Windows 8, no one can say what it means for sure, but it would be no surprise if these features did come to Windows 8 as Microsoft is beginning to move into the cloud.
I have to wonder though, will such synchronizing services be free? Sure, currently Microsoft gives Windows Live users 25GB of online storage with SkyDrive, but right now only 5GB of that limit can be used to synchronize files with Windows Live Mesh.
Maybe Microsoft will bump up the limit to the full 25GB and offer that for free, but any more than that would cost extra. Who knows, Windows 8 could even be an operating system that you don’t pay a license fee to use Windows, but a subscription fee for your Windows 8 account. Then if you don’t pay your fee (monthly, yearly, whatever) you couldn’t log on to your account.
After all, Microsoft is moving many of their services to the cloud and having subscription fees. A couple examples would be Office 365, with which you not only get the online services, but also the full-on Office suite attached to the subscription itself, and if you fail to pay, the Office suite on the desktop turns into Office Starter (not all Office 365 subscriptions come with the Office suite for the desktop, not the cheap plans, anyways). Another example is Windows InTune, for managing Windows from the cloud, and with the service you also get upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise.
The best part of using such subscription services is when a new version of Office or Windows comes out, you get to upgrade to the newest version without forking over any massive amount of money. Sure, it is covered by the subscription fee, but it is not a huge upfront cost.
All of what I just said though is complete and utter speculation with no sources, but I can dream, can’t I?
Mary Jo Foley has a contact which tells her that the next version of the Windows Live service (Wave 5) would feature an HTML5 Hotmail.
This may not sound too interesting, except for what her contact had to say: “The Softies are working on an HTML5 version of Hotmail with something that few people understand the consequences of: offline storage…. They are planning on replacing the Windows Live Mail client with it.”
Now wouldn’t that be nice? No longer would you need to install the desktop application, yet you could continue to access your email even while offline. Nothing amazing or revolutionary, just evolutionary, but nice nonetheless.
Hopefully Windows Live Hotmail won’t be so ugly in the next “wave,” either.