Liveside reported a couple of days ago that they “recently learnt that Microsoft will soon offer unlimited photos and Office documents storage on SkyDrive Wave 5. This move could have widespread ramification for a number of businesses, especially if they get Live Sync integrated.
Everyone from Dropbox to Flickr would be dramatically impacted if Microsoft makes this aggressive move. For the past couple of years I’ve paid for a Pro Flickr account, but if SkyDrive makes that free, I’ll jump ship in a second. Windows Live Wave 5 will also see a revamp of Hotmail, after a recent Hotmail event invite suggested we should ‘forget everything we know about Hotmail’.
With the Build conference this week discussing Windows 8, it’s likely Microsoft will discuss online service integration at a much deeper level to the OS, than what’s currently on offer. New of unlimited document and photo storage will spread quickly amongst those connected, but normal users are unlikely to take advantage of it unless made dead-simple and integrated into the Windows.
The desktop suite of products under the Windows Live Essentials banner is sadly still unknown by many. The theory was that by removing apps like Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Messenger, etc from Windows, it would allow for faster updates outside of the 3 year OS cycle. In reality, things have changed and the updates of applications could easily be done through Windows Update.
Getting back to the unlimited storage in Wave 5, it does have a limitation, it is just for docs and photos, everything else will need to fit into 25GB. Right now there is 5GB of storage for Live Sync, so should Sync and SkyDrive be integration (like they always should have been), you would expect that should grow to 30GB. The limitation is clearly a move to prevent users from storing and sharing large video files, which is fair enough.
If the storage of documents and photos online does become a reality, expect a big shakeup in the industry and some services to die. It’s hard to compete with free.. ask Netscape.
More info @ LiveSide.