(Phys.org)—Microsoft has announced new tools for developers related to its SkyDrive file-sharing and cloud storage service—namely, SkyDrive SDKs for .NET and Windows Phone 8. SkyDrive is an important integrator for software and hardware coming out of the Microsoft universe; the new developer tools will push SkyDrive further into prominence. A Technology Evangelist for Microsoft, Jim O'Neil, said that the cloud serves up the "connection" experience and within Windows 8 that experience is not "bolted on."
He described SkyDrive as a "first-class citizen," providing developers with "roaming storage that automatically handles the synchronization of application data across Windows 8 devices linked to a given user's Microsoft account."
Microsoft watchers see the November 16 SDK announcement as a step in the right direction but they also see Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 as in for a tough ride, simply because these are new, and up against formidable competitors, Apple's iOS and Android, with the latter two enjoying fully ripened ecosystems. The SDK kit move may ease and even shorten the otherwise bumpy ride.
The big reason iPhone and Android users would be reluctant to try out new platforms from Microsoft would simply be that they see so many apps available for their present computing devices without trying any new platform. Microsoft so far offers less apps than their main rivals in their Windows Store.
Microsoft's recent announcement for developers, meanwhile, in addition to announcing new .NET and Windows Phone SDKs also announced IFTTT, DocuSign and SoundGecko integration.
DocuSign is an electronic signature site. SoundGecko is a text-to-audio transcription service. When users link SoundGecko with SkyDrive, they get their MP3 audio transcriptions automatically uploaded to a SoundGecko folder in their SkyDrive account. A further enticement for developers is SkyDrive integration with the IFTTT service, with IFTTT standing for If This Then That. IFTTT says its mission is to enable everyone to create valuable connections between the services and devices used every day. "Think of all the things you could do if you were able to define any tasks as when something happens (this) then do something else (that)." IFTTT in turn allows social media services to work together.
As for .NET SDK, there are two versions, client and server. The client SDK enables developers to build console, Windows Form or Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications for end users, to help in integrating SkyDrive with tasks. The server version relates to building ASP.NET Web sites and Web server components.
Referring to the SDK for Windows Phone 8, Microsoft said it has provided a programming model by supporting the new Task < T > async pattern and dynamic keyword. With this, code can be moved easily between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 applications.
The SDKs are available from dev.live.com/downloads .
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