Sharing is Caring: A Reminder from Windows 8 and Dell
Several technologies can be said to have made the world smaller. The car made the next town over a trip you could take without thinking about, the airplane made the other side of the world a destination instead of an abstraction, and email made letter writing instantaneous. So to has social networking has changed how we live. That may seem flip or obvious, depending on your perspective, but that does not make it less true. Social networking has followed the fine tradition of world shrinking. I recently moved halfway across the country. Had I done so twenty years ago, I would have had to make a much greater effort to keep in touch with friends and family. Instead, logging into Facebook lets me see family photos, news, etc. When I finally sold my old house the other day, how did I let my family know? Facebook.
One thing I really like about Windows 8 is how sharing is integrated. Take Photos – I can share with Facebook, Flikr, via Microsoft Skydrive (we’ll get back to that), or even across Windows 8 devices. So I can take a photo with my Dell Latitude 10 tablet, and access it on my Optiplex 9010 All-In-One, or on my Windows Phone 8 device. Yes, there are dedicated photo
sharing services, like the aforementioned Flikr – but with Windows 8, I don’t have to mess with apps or accounts (after initial setup, of course), the functionality is baked in.
I’m especially fond of Skydrive, Microsoft’s cloud service. Several tech pundits have decried the lack of Google Music in Windows Phone; fie on that I say- I can stream my music from Skydrive just fine, and my desktop manages it perfectly. I can also store my Office files there and edit them directly from my XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook – and unlike Google Docs, I don’t have to remember to save as .docx, or worry about formatting being lost. The Windows 8 calendar is more visually appealing than Apple’s iCal, and merges with my Google calendar perfectly. As a bonus, I can tell if I have an event right from my Live Tile screen- that’s a Push feature, and I applaud it.For the video gamer, there’s Smartglass – Microsoft’s screen sharing feature. Got an Xbox? Keep track of the action from that Latitude 10. You can monitor game stats, access complimentary data and bonus videos or my personal favorite- use it to manage your media. Smartglass, an Xbox and a Windows 8 RT tablet may be my perfect media room setup.
Still, when it comes to Social Media, the centerpiece of Windows 8 has got to be the People app. With the ability to tie in my Twitter or Facebook account, I can view notifications, view my photos (yes, like in the app) post, view my friends, or even just look at a compilation of all my Facebook/Twitter posts – I am enough of an egotist to admit I did that and I liked it.
Microsoft’s willingness to include third party services in their sharing integration is an impressive thing, especially on this level. I’m hoping to see more services join Facebook and Twitter (we already have LinkedIn on Windows Phone), and look forward to seeing what they and their partners (like Dell) do with this latest OS.
This is a paid post in conjunction with IDG and Dell.