Service offers 10GB of space – for free! Beta testing begins nows.
Windows Azure for Windows Server 8 is open for free in its beta stage, and offers 10GB of storage
Microsoft is offering free access to the beta of Windows Azure for Windows Server 8, offering 10GB in exchange for users giving feedback to the company.
Windows Azure is Microsoft’s cloud service, allowing remote access. It’s different to SkyDrive, that is tightly integrated into the Metro side of Windows 8.
The Online Backup Service, as it is called, requires testers to install an Online Backup Agent and downloading backed up data from any server.
“Uploaded data is compressed an ecrypted,” with only changed data blocks sent to reduce bandwith and upload time. The server then runs integrity checks on the data to ensure it isn’t dangerous. As of writing, only Windows Server 8 is supported.
Microsoft begins app development program
Continuing on from their blog post which highlighted how easy it is to to bring apps over from the iPad to Windows 8 tablets, which basically highlighted how the two platforms have very similar UI elements, Microsoft has launched one-day “camps” to train developers in producing apps.
The aim of the session is to show developers how to integrate key features of Windows 8, such as the Charms bar, into apps. An example is the charm which takes users to settings, and can be accessed across any app to provide a “sense of comfort for users.”
Personally, I think this sounds like a good idea. Part of why OSX is successful, and praised for its ease-of-use, is because gestures run throughout the operating system. Every app allows users to perform the same gestures, whether swiping left or right to move between apps or swiping four fingers up to view all open windows. What I like about the Metro side of Windows is the consistency: whenever I’m in app, I can using Semantic Zoom to view everything. Every browser is adhering to specific guidelines for Windows 8, so it’s going to be harder to distinguish which is which.
This is what Windows has been missing. It’s never felt like a ‘fun’ OS to use, or one that is even designer consistently, because most of the apps were designed with function in mind first.
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