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Windows XP adds online storage

PC World

By Ashlee Vance

(IDG) -- Users of Microsoft's new Windows XP operating system will be able to store a variety of files, from songs to documents, in an online storage bin hosted by a Microsoft partner.

This should allow users to access their files from any computing device with an Internet browser. Microsoft has tapped Xdrive Technologies to provide users with an online storage service that can be found in the Windows XP Publishing Wizard. Users who choose the Xdrive service will pay $4.95 per month for 75 MB of storage. INFOCENTER
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Users can set up shared folders that other friends or coworkers can access, and Xdrive provides a data-backup service to retrieve any lost information a user might need, says Karl Klessig, president and chief executive officer at Xdrive.

Users typically store most of their information on a PC's hard drive, but using Xdrive's servers might be more convenient when users want to share files or access them remotely, Klessig says. Microsoft created Windows XP with a number of multimedia tools, including a built-in Windows Media Player.

"Instead of sending large files, I can just share them with users of XP," Klessig says. "The files will be stored in a remote location, and users will be notified when certain files are available to them."

An XP user can create a number of folders for storing files such as pictures, word documents, and videos. The user can set different levels of access for each folder, marking some as private while making some folders accessible by other users via the Internet. Friends or coworkers can be allowed to work directly with files or, for example, have read-only or print-only access, Klessig says.

Users can then access the files over any device with an Internet browser, including PCs, handheld devices, and cellular phones. However, at this point, most handheld devices are limited in what kinds of files they can display. As handheld devices are equipped with improved screen size, file support, and bandwidth, the viewing problems should be solved, Klessig says.

Users can purchase 1GB of storage space for $49.95 per month. Xdrive has localized versions of its software for Japanese, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German speakers.


• Microsoft

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