Windows 8 will use the cloud to synchronise and keep users settings when connecting on multiple PC’s.
The cloud will be at the heart of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system strategy. Its presence will start to be felt when users connect to their Windows 8 machine via a Windows Live ID. This will be an option made available, although will not be obligatory.
This kind of connection allows you to associate most of Windows user account settings. Thanks to a backup and synchronisation in the cloud, with the same user experience possible on any Windows 8 PC that the user then connects to.
This covers the locked screen, wallpaper, tiles selected at boot, certain settings like the volume, currently paying video, task bar, Internet Explorer favourites and pinned sites.
In a post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft also explains that it will be possible to find all of the Metro applications in the same state that the user left them on all Windows 8 PC’s, with the applications and web sites all automatically connecting to the services which use Windows Live ID identification.
Microsoft is also talking about PC’s with Windows 8 and not PC’s with other versions of Windows or Windows Phone devices. Any person who uses Windows 8 or Windows Phone 7 will have access to the SkyDrive online storage though so that they can store files as indicated by a Microsoft engineer on Inside Windows Live.
These files located on the SkyDrive will be accessible from the browser, and will be connected to applications designed for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. In Metro, photos can be shared and other applications also linked to Windows Live services like your Messenger and Facebook contacts can be found.
New synchronisation information for multiple Windows 8 PC’s (Windows settings, application and data settings, usernames) will be stored in a separate cloud than that used by Windows Live (and therefore SkyDrive).
For companies, internal policies will allow administrators to control the data synchronised by users. A user’s profile information will also be protected by encryption on the client side before being sent into the cloud (SSL/TLS).
In the video below, Katie Frigon, manager of Microsoft’s You-Centered Experience team presents the cloud synchronisation options in the Windows 8 environment on two PC’s: