Windows 8 May Feature Cloud Backup

There's new evidence to back up speculation that the next version of Windows may feature cloud-based backup. The idea is based on two recent Microsoft job posts which discuss a possible connection between Windows Azure, web-based services and Windows 8.

The first job posting is looking for a Software Development Engineer to help with work "on a Windows Azure-based service and integrating with certain Microsoft online services and Windows 8 client backup." The second job posting seeks a Windows System Engineer to "play a pivotal role as we integrate our online services with Windows 8."

The job listings follow a set of slides leaked over the summer that suggest cloud-based computing would play a vital role in Windows 8. The deck of slides listed features supposedly under consideration including ultra-fast booting, a "Microsoft Store" for downloading apps, fuller cloud integration, and the use of facial recognition for logins.

According to one of the slides, Windows accounts would be connected to the cloud. Roaming settings and preferences would also be associated with a user between PCs and devices. Ultimately this may actually help Microsoft fight piracy both locally and overseas, authorizing users on Microsoft’s end rather than locally on the machine.

Additionally, a possible scenario could require customers to set up a Live account (or use an existing one), purchase an access key (or register if Windows 8 came pre-installed on a new PC), and download the OS when needed later, similar to purchasing games from Steam. There would be no need for discs or permanently storing installation files on the HDD.

But if Windows 8 will indeed support cloud-based backup, it will be interesting to see how it works. Backing up to an internal HDD or an external 2 TB HDD is one thing--backing up the contents of a hard drive across the Internet is an entirely different beast. Cloud-based backup will likely just keep track of the core OS so that users can perform a recovery process.

With a clear connection between Windows 8 client backup and Windows Azure-based service listed in the job posting, there's no question that cloud-based computing will play a major role in the next OS. How it will be implemented will be anyone’s guess over the next few years.

  • agnickolov
    Speaking as a professional software developer myself, there's no way this could be targeted for Windows 8 in the timeframes Microsoft wants for releasing successive OS versions. Windows 9 is the likelier target I expect.
  • iamtheking123
    Yeah cloud backup OS integration is a brilliant idea...just like Bitlocker, Movie Maker, WebHost, Outlook Express, and a whole host of other crap they bloat the OS with that takes 2 hours to clear off and turn off after a "fresh" install.

    Here's a smarter idea than relying on hyper-slow online backup uploading....pop in a $30 32 GB flash drive or a $60 1 TB external hdd and have everything you want backed up locally in minutes. Congratulations MS, I just saved you the cost of someone's salary that would have been spent developing something completely useless.
  • dogman_1234
    What if Microsoft looses sensitive info...?

  • randomizer
    Facebook knows who you are, Google knows what you want and Microsoft will soon know what you already have.

    Resistance is futile.
  • drwho1
    I like a blue sky FREE of MS clouds....
  • spentshells
    Cool miscrosoft has access to everything I have and my settings soooo cool
  • spectrewind
    randomizerFacebook knows who you are, Google knows what you want and Microsoft will soon know what you already have.Resistance is futile.
    Interesting reference. This distributed networking "thing" looks great in paper. When something unplanned happens, then what? Who is held responsible.

    In the words of Locutus of Borg from the "Best of both Worlds: Part 2"...

    "... sleep, ....Data...."
  • Christopher1
    dogman_1234What if Microsoft looses sensitive info...?WHAT if I BSOD? GOSH!
    Windows 7 almost NEVER BSOD's. Personally, I've only had it BSOD ONCE, and that was coming from a application that WARNED ME it would BSOD Windows 7, and that there was an update I should install after my next log-on and reboot.
  • Gin Fushicho
    I won't use the function. =/
  • eddieroolz
    Sounds very exciting. My only concern is how much the engineers had to re-engineer the Windows platform for this to function with any decency. Windows wasn't made for this, after all.

    Then there's the ISP connection speed/transfer caps to take into account. Users in Japan/Korea/etc. have 1Gbps fiber-optic internet nearly standard; many users in Australia still live on 1.5Mbps.