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Chronicling the Progress of Microsoft’s “Top Secret”, Free “Windows Cloud OS”

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I’ve written before (8/12 here, 7/13 here) that Microsoft seems to be stealthily, or at least without much fan fare, creating a kind of “Microsoft Windows Cloud Edition” without much notice in the form of the tightly integrated and free www.OneDrive, OfficeOnline apps Online and www.Outlook.com.

My argument is that while the industry hardly notices, Microsoft already largely has a “cloud OS” that consists of:

    • Very simple “Start” menu (with Live Tiles)
    • File Storage (Hardrive) in Skydrive 
    • File Sharing (even public file sharing with editing!)
    • Office Apps
      • Word
      • Excel
        • Excel/ Webbased Surveys
      • Powerpoint
      • Onenote
      • Outlook: contacts, calendar, email
    • Photo viewer
    • Notepad (advanced features)
    • Outlook.com
      • Email (not only the client but the service as well!)
    • Communication: Audio/Video, Presence & Instant Messaging Powered by Skype
      • Skype IM/P
      • Along with Gmail IM capabilities
    • Skype Audio/Video calling in the browser Click Here
    • This web OS easily sync’s with Windows, WindowsPhone, iPhone, Android

What is the latest addition to “Microsoft Windows Cloud OS”?

  • More shortcuts to the “Start” menu
  • Ability to add new document from the “Start” menu
  • Office templates

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The “Start” menu is current at the top of the screen instead of taking the whole screen but this could easily be remedied.

Currently the “Start” button looks like a Down caret/arrow:

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But this could easily be turned into a Windows 8.x like “Start” Icon at the button of the screen, which would much more graphically indicate it’s Start-like purpose, as shown in the mockup below: (NOTE—this is a mockup screen, but obviously would take negligible amount of time to implement)

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The new shortcuts mean you can open new documents or templates from the “Start” menu with one click:

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You can now utilize Office online templates

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When you are in templates, note the Office option.

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There are some ways we could say the service is not a complete OS because of the lack of:

  • Configurable and complete Start menu
  • Ability to install additional apps
  • Printer management?

whether this is Microsoft Window Cloud Edition OS or just a really handy, free web service, you can go out and get it right now. Sign up at: www.onedrive.com

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