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Microsoft Networking

Microsoft Unveils Windows 7 File-Sharing Beta 230

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we-totally-won't-sell-this-information dept.
nandemoari writes "Microsoft yesterday released a trial version of new file-sharing software intended for use with its upcoming and highly-anticipated operating system. The new software allows PC users to swap files with the computers of friends, family, and trusted colleagues along safe, secure channels. Dubbed 'Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5,' the beta connects the Windows Live IDs of individual users with a Windows 7 account, essentially building a secure link between data stored on a hard drive and information accessible via Windows Live online."
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Microsoft Unveils Windows 7 File-Sharing Beta

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  • by Spazztastic (814296) <spazztastic&gmail,com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:32PM (#26920571)

    They forgot to mention that all file transfers including mp3, wma, wmv, mpeg, etc. files will be logged and sent to the RIAA/MPAA.

    Good for family photos, not good for everything.

    • by Tokerat (150341) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:39PM (#26920681) Journal
      Oh really? Can you please point out where it says that in the TOS?

      Don't get me wrong, I've been with the Apple camp since before I can remember (20+ years) and I hate Microsoft, especially for their business practices; however that's quite a statement to make with nothing to back it up.
      • How abouts something like....

        "We reserve the right to change this EULA at any time, without informing you."

      • by spikenerd (642677) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:50PM (#26920857)

        ...that's quite a statement to make with nothing to back it up.

        Good point. Considering Microsoft's long history of consistently putting the user's best interest at the forefront of all their new product releases, we need some pretty strong reasons to *not* trust them implicitly.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by genner (694963)

        Oh really? Can you please point out where it says that in the TOS? Don't get me wrong, I've been with the Apple camp since before I can remember (20+ years) and I hate Microsoft, especially for their business practices; however that's quite a statement to make with nothing to back it up.

        You must be new here.....fall in line with the group think newbie.

      • by Endo13 (1000782)

        Um... whoosh?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by segedunum (883035)

        Oh really? Can you please point out where it says that in the TOS?

        It doesn't need to be. Microsoft have been actively developing DRM to get into bed with the content companies and they have made statements to the effect that if they don't then they won't be allowed to come and play in their paddling pool. Do you really think they're going to do unrestricted Microsoft Bitorrent(tm)?

        It's just another in a long line of copy-cats that is burned into Microsoft's nature. If there is something successful out t

    • They probably will. And that's probably the whole point. But not for the reason you think.

      Microsoft is a company in trouble. It's main product, its flagship OS, is not selling a well as it might hope. For the first time in years it is faced with real and credible competition from both Apple and Canonical. It needs to stay competitive and its current liaisons with media companies are not helping it do that.

      Culture has changed. File sharing is a fact of life for the majority of PC users. People share their files, not only documents and music, but also video files. Apple and Canonical have responded by giving users better tools and greater freedom with their files. Microsoft has responded by locking its systems down, putting barriers in the way of people trying to us their PCs.

      But culture has changed. People want to transfer files between the now multiple machines and accounts in their homes. They want to show other people the files on their drives. Microsoft is waking up to this fact, not because they want to, but because in this day and age and culture, they have to.

      Microsoft, desperate to get itself into the living room, has been caving into the media industry for years now. But it's still not in the living room, aside from the Xbox console, which does not need the media industry to get there. How has Microsoft, as a company, made profit by pandering to these outside interests? In ten years of compromises, what benefit has Microsoft seen to the restrictions it has placed in its operating system? As open alternatives replace Microsoft products in this domain (Bitorrent/VLC/Boxee), it's clear that people are voting with their feet, and are choosing players and distribution methods that just do what they want them to do, without telling them that they can't.

      The media companies will kick and buck and scream and roar over this. It's an anathema to their world view, where users have only limited, and in some cases temporary, control and access over their files. But Microsoft has probably stopped listening, despite their now large ties to the entertainment industry. Times are getting tough, and with alternatives out there, they cannot afford Windows to be laden down with artificial barriers introduced at the behest of third parties.

      • by furby076 (1461805) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:18PM (#26921197) Homepage

        Microsoft is a company in trouble

        I don't think so: Go to the links below and look at the max trends NASDAQ Composite: http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ [google.com]
        MSFT: http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NASDAQ:MSFT [google.com]
        If you notice MS has been following the same pattern as NASDAQ - yes down right now, but that is not because MS is failing it is because there is a tighter crunch in the market. This tighter crunch means companies are spending less, and they will hold onto their old infrastructure as long as possible (banks are notorious for having legacy products). It also means they are not converting to other infrastructure (contrary to popular belief it is not as easy/cheap to switch)

        MS has a 159 billion market cap. Total revenue 2008 = 60,420 (million). Total revenue 2007 = 51,122 (million). Their total revenue went up. So did their net income.

        No they don't have a failing product (dollar-wise) though what you say seems to fail.

        • by cgenman (325138) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:38PM (#26921477) Homepage

          I believe that grandparent's point is not about stock value, but position in market. They've officially lost the battle for search engines, their phone OS is third best, their last desktop OS couldn't convince people to upgrade, office 2007 is controversial and their lock on text formats is crumbling, and aside from the video game division they've been wholly unable to get any momentum going in new markets.

          Personally, I'm looking forward to desktop file sharing and synchronization, as it will mean I can stop running all these FTP servers everywhere. This move seems to imply that they're letting go of the idea of being a media company, and instead focusing on the actual revenue parts of their organization. Good for them.

          • Personally, I'm looking forward to desktop file sharing and synchronization, as it will mean I can stop running all these FTP servers everywhere.

            I'm sure they've released an RFC on it with an independent implementation for Linux. Right?

            Oh. Count me out then...

        • by mangu (126918) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:47PM (#26921575)

          If you notice MS has been following the same pattern as NASDAQ - yes down right now, but that is not because MS is failing it is because there is a tighter crunch in the market.

          Considering they have spent tens of billions of dollars [nwsource.com] just to keep their market price from falling more, then I think one can say Microsoft is in deep trouble, considering the stock market alone.

      • But it's still not in the living room, aside from the Xbox console, which does not need the media industry to get there

        And with DRM dying (at least for music) there isn't a lot of hope that they'll be able to monopolize the living room. I don't see any particularly good reason for any online stores to choose to distribute in WMA when they can choose MP3 or AAC.

      • by drsmithy (35869)

        Culture has changed. File sharing is a fact of life for the majority of PC users. People share their files, not only documents and music, but also video files. Apple and Canonical have responded by giving users better tools and greater freedom with their files. Microsoft has responded by locking its systems down, putting barriers in the way of people trying to us their PCs.

        Er, what ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kiddygrinder (605598)
        Yah, their "Trouble" is a position that both apple and canonical could only dream of being in. IMHO it will take 10 years or more of them making every wrong decision to put any real dint in their market share, and i don't know why, but a lot of people think windows 7 made a lot less wrong decisions than you think.
      • by turing_m (1030530)

        You could have a point. Why have MS increasingly enabled DRM in their operating systems? My guess is that they are hoping for a cut of all digital movie and music sales.

        To go back on that after so much investment is a big about face. However, most of this investment was done prior to releasing Vista, so an about face is possible.

        At what point do Microsoft halt their delusions of grandeur and start battening down the hatches? If it is now as you contend, then this move makes sense. Network effect and rampant

      • by maztuhblastah (745586) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:27PM (#26922761) Journal

        You may be a bit ahead of the times in your prediction, but I believe you're close. But that's not what I wanted to comment on. I wanted to comment on this:

        For the first time in years it is faced with real and credible competition from both Apple and Canonical.

        I very much disagree with this. Microsoft isn't faced with competition from Canonical. They're faced with competition from Linux; Canonical may be a "symptom" of this, but they're not the real competition. Right now, Canonical's got (arguably) the best, most usable UI for new users, thus they have some of the largest user base. If Canonical gets destroyed by Microsoft and Ubuntu ceases to exist, there will be a huge development influx into other distros, probably concentrating on either Fedora or one of the many Ubuntu spin-offs. The problem that MS is facing is that desktop Linux is somewhat of a hydra. They've managed against it thus far is really just because (continuing the metaphor) it took a while to grow. The nature of open sources licenses mean that it will be incredibly easy for "modern desktop Linux" to survive the death of their current front-runner.

        Now I don't think Microsoft's death is imminent. They've got enough cash reserves and enough fingers in enough pies that they won't die anytime soon. But they are facing a serious threat, one that thus far they've been powerless to stop the growth of. Apple can be destroyed. Apple is kept at bay by Microsoft quite easily: until iWork is a drop-in replacement, Microsoft holds the upper hand in their relationship. (This is, I suspect, why Apple has been putting a substantial amount of development resources into the creation of a functional equivalent to Microsoft Office. As long as a majority of their consumer user-base depends on a Microsoft product, Apple can't afford to compete too directly with Microsoft.) Linux has no such Achilles' heel. The best Microsoft has against Linux is "trusted computing", but (thus far) manufacturers have essentially said "why bother" to Microsoft's pushes for it. Without widespread hardware lock-in, and without a clear financial target, Linux won't be easy for Microsoft to kill.

    • it's a trap! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cassini2 (956052) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:04PM (#26921039)

      I'm not sure I agree with the person that moderated the parent as Flame Bait. Microsoft is a big enough target that it doesn't want to get sued over copyright violations. That was why Vista and Windows 7 have all that DRM crap. Now Microsoft wants to build a secure utility to transparently share files between people over the internet.

      Has anyone ever built a secure file sharing utility over the internet that hasn't been abused in some way? Ever?

      Sometimes it is just too easy to guess peoples passwords. People will share the potentially embarrassing items, whether it is an embarrassing picture, or a copyrighted song. Microsoft will log all this information. One enterprising teen could make all of your dirty laundry public knowledge.

      • Re:it's a trap! (Score:5, Informative)

        by CodeBuster (516420) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:56PM (#26922337)

        Microsoft is a big enough target that it doesn't want to get sued over copyright violations.

        I don't think that is really the main the reason. If Microsoft wants to defend a charge of vicarious (i.e. they assisted others) infringement then they need only point to Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984) [wikipedia.org] aka "the Betamax case" and make the Res Ipsa Loquitur [wikipedia.org] (the matter speaks for itself) case that the Windows OS has "substantial non-infringing uses".

        That was why Vista and Windows 7 have all that DRM crap.

        I think that the other posters on this thread are right when they say that Microsoft was trying to capture market share in the home entertainment market by offering what they believed were enticing DRM features to the entertainment industry. There was just one small problem, they forgot about their real customers, the home users, along the way and the strategy has been largely unsuccessful as a result. It probably also doesn't help that Ballmer, the present CEO of Microsoft, has views on copyright and culture that fit closely with those of the big media companies whereas Steve Jobs of Apple is more in tune with what the consumer market wants and the "spirit of the times", even going so far as to publicly call the record company execs "greedy".

        Has anyone ever built a secure file sharing utility over the internet that hasn't been abused in some way? Ever?

        If I had to guess, I would say that the top level Warez groups probably have the closest thing to a secure file sharing network as anyone. They are constantly under fire from the media companies and various government agencies and that kind of heat tends to burn off the impurities and leave behind a very well configured and secured server (the lesser ones having long since been busted and broken up).

        One enterprising teen could make all of your dirty laundry public knowledge.

        Actually, it will probably be the Russian mafia and their hacker associates; they specialize in blackmail, but it takes a certain minimum net worth to draw their attention.

    • That's why I use RAR files encrypted with strong passwords when I send any attachments of a personal nature over GMail. I don't think this will be much different...

    • by PixelSlut (620954)
      Good thing I use ogg. Microsoft would never think to look for that.
  • Yeehaw (Score:2, Funny)

    by XcepticZP (1331217)
    Go Microsoft!!
  • Irony? (Score:2, Funny)

    by jetsci (1470207)
    Now I can conveniently share my Windows_Release_BT.iso! Thank you Microsoft.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AliasMarlowe (1042386)

      Now I can conveniently share my Windows_Release_BT.iso! Thank you Microsoft.

      Now that thought might even motivate them to make it work with Linux...

    • by StikyPad (445176)

      True, but since it's a Windows 7 feature, you can only share with people who already have it..

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:34PM (#26920609) Journal

    What DRM is built into this that prevents people from sharing copyrighted works with their friends, family, and trusted associates? Something tells me that this will reek of DRM excrement from the first double click.

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:50PM (#26920849)
      If you attempt to share a copyrighted file, a group of armed men kick down your door, take you away, and leave a note behind in your handwriting saying "I'm on vacation. Don't look for me." Pretty heavy-handed, but at least the software is free.
      • by Endo13 (1000782)

        Hey man, how's vacation? Send me a postcard?

        Oh BTW, your front door was knocked down, so I got a handy-man out to get that fixed. Let me know when you get back!

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:50PM (#26920861) Journal

      I wonder if this will be anything like Windows Live Sync, which is quite useful.

      Live Sync doesn't have any sort of DRM as far as I'm aware, but I believe there are limits on file size and total number of files. In any case, I use it to keep several hundred documents synced transparently between my XP desktop and OS X laptop.

      • by Namarrgon (105036) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:53PM (#26924863) Homepage

        Because it doesn't actually do sharing at all. As usual, TFS is half crap and Taco didn't RTFA. A better article is here [arstechnica.com].

        All it does is associate your Live ID with your login - that's why they call it Sign-in Assistant instead of iShare. It enables other [potential] apps to e.g. share files, amongst other things, but there's no functionality like that in this MS release.

        What you can do is e.g. set up a Win7 Homegroup (read: private network), share drives/folders in the usual way, and allow only specified Live IDs access (as opposed to allowing local or domain accounts access). The only new part here is auto-sign-in to your Live ID to make this all more seamless.

    • I use password-encrypted RARs when I send anything over GMail that I don't want the Google spooks reading...

      ...such as EXEs, which it automatically blocks if it detects. I suppose this would work just as well for other file types...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PCM2 (4486)

      DRM? You're being a little broad with that term, aren't you? Microsoft is just going to conduct periodic sweeps of its entire data store with the assistance of whatever RIAA, MPAA, etc. When it identifies files (by signature) that have been flagged as copyright infringing, Microsoft will issue you a take-down notice while unilaterally deleting the files at the same time.

      "Legalistically, you may appeal to the Emperor, but you would get no hearing. The Emperor today is not the Emperor of an Entun dynasty, you know. Trantor, I'm afraid, is in the hands of the aristocratic families, members of which compose the Commission of Public Safety. This is a development which is well predicted by Psychohistory." -- Isaac Asimov, Foundation

  • Clever, actually (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FireballX301 (766274) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:34PM (#26920611) Journal
    All the benefits of ftp without the bandwidth cost of a fileserver. My question is whether there's a way to cap the amount of files that can be requested from you, in order to keep your monthly up limit from being clobbered.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by capt.Hij (318203)
      Actually, I was thinking rsync over ssh. It is not so clear from the article, but if this is the case then it is big. The combination of rsync and ssh is one of the most used tool combinations for me. If it is rsync "like' then that should reduce the bandwidth issues that you (rightfully) raise.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      How is that? The data doesn't magically jump off your machine and onto someone else's. You could get pretty much exactly the same effect by running an FTP server on your machine and then giving the passwords to some central web site somewhere that freely shares them with "trusted" users.

    • All the benefits of ftp without the bandwidth cost of a fileserver.

      You know you don't particularly need a dedicated file server to use something like FTP, right?

      All the problems with running FTP on a home desktop machine are associated with having a dynamic IP rather than static, and otherwise with the fact that FTP kind of sucks as a protocol.

      Anyway, I'm not sure all that matters. If this provides new functionality that's helpful for their customers, then good for Microsoft for including those features. File sharing is still a little too painful.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Well, dynamic IP's turn out to not be very dynamic. You can easily
        assign a real domain name to a dynamic IP address and perhaps not
        even need to change it in a year. You could also use some sort of
        dynamic dns service.

        Or you could just send out emails with links with ip numbers in them.

        If you want to share stuff with a few select people, it's really
        not that hard on a "home machine".

        Although a lot of stuff is already being shared by people anyways.
        There are already easy to use facilities with which to share us

    • No [sourceforge.net] problem [sourceforge.net]!
  • by Hadlock (143607) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:35PM (#26920619) Homepage Journal

    This just reeks of a way to "securely" send viruses through a new security hole! No way in hell I would enable this.

    • Really?? Is that really all you have to say? To me this seems like a "pull" service, not a push service. This means that you would not have the ability to "push" a virus to a remote system, but would be able to pull a compromised file from a remote location.

      Even if you could push files out, you would still need the remote computer to run the file, so it's really no different then a p2p application. Bashing the app (or more likely MS in general) when this "security hole" is neither unique to windows n
  • The article and the summary on microsoft are both pretty lacking. It's hard to tell if this is a dropbox-esque implementation, or if it's something more along the lines of a distributed file system.

    This provider enables linking a Windows Live ID to a Windows 7 user account.

    Does this mean we'll have an AFS like login system where we'll be able to mount our home files from anywhere? Give us some more details windows.

  • by nycguy (892403) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:36PM (#26920637)
    They will make hijacking someone's contact list for spam look like a walk in the park.

    Other than that, it seems like it's just for setting up circle jerks to porn.
  • Storage (Score:3, Informative)

    by Z34107 (925136) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:37PM (#26920655)

    That's actually pretty cool. Making a homegroup painless and takes a few mouse clicks, and if you have a copy of the beta you (most likely) already have a .NET passport.

    So, Homegroup + .NET passport = free file sharing to anyone on your homegroup? Intriguing, but the article implies that there must be a way to invite a computer NOT on your LAN into a homegroup. I'm guessing that's what that new file sharing program is about.

  • Live? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VGPowerlord (621254) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:38PM (#26920657)

    Hey, if it can associate information with Windows Live accounts, can it also associate information with Xbox Live accounts? As far as I know, they all use the same MS Passport username and password.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:40PM (#26920707)

    Anyone know how the new KDE 4.2 handles file sharing with other KDE 4.2 desktop environments? The file sharing in Windows 95 was pretty straight forward. Windows 98, not so much. Windows XP was not so easy. It's my hope that Windows 7 will be straight forward.

    I think file sharing had a bug within Windows XP SP2 because until on edited the registry, things just did not work.

    Now before I get labled as a troll, the registry setting I am talking about is this:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa {change restrictanonymous to 0 }

    Then it worked.

    • So, thats the problem with sharing with anony on a XP install. I was wondering if I broke something.

      Loads up VirtualBox OSE....

      Yeah. That fixes the problem. Thanks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drsmithy (35869)

        So, thats the problem with sharing with anony on a XP install. I was wondering if I broke something.

        The proper way to do this is to enable the Guest account, which is disabled by default. You can do that in User Management.

        • by nschubach (922175)

          Why would you want to enable the guest account and allow anyone the ability to log into your PC instead of just allowing anonymous LAN access?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I believe it is remote:/ in Dolphin (the file manager), but I only have one box running KDE, so I'm not sure.

      That said, sftp and scp are remarkably easy for securely moving files. scp @: . works from more or less any linux or Mac computer. As in anywhere.

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      Now before I get labled as a troll, the registry setting I am talking about is this:

      On the non-home versions of XP, you need to manually enable the Guest account for "anonymouse" sharing. You can do this in Users and Groups, or you can do it the hard way and edit the Registry.

      In the Home versions, AFAICR, there's a sharing wizard that achieves the same end (of course, this being Slashdot, where everyone knows better, that's probably not widely known).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      KDE 4.2 can handle filesharing through samba or you can have it through zeroconf + FISH or zeroconf + SFTP or even zeroconf + NFS although I couldn't get the last combination to work properly, it seem that nfs:// browsing is a bit buggy there.

  • That's really cool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:41PM (#26920715)

    Lemee see. Ill go and create a FUSE driver that utilizes this service. Now, Ill point this service at GPG files.

    Gee golly Whillikers! You cant read anything I have. Nice though. Encrypted storage dump you can share. Just trade keys out of band, say thorough Gmail.

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      Perhaps combine the FUSE driver for this with an EncFS layer, or even a TrueCrypt volume that uses a keyfile (obviously not stored on any remote media)? This should help.

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:46PM (#26920783) Homepage Journal

    Dubbed "Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5,"

    Apple would've called it "iShare" or something else friendly and inviting. Who does MS hire to come up with those horrid, unwieldy names?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Dubbed "Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5,"

      Apple would've called it "iShare" or something else friendly and inviting. Who does MS hire to come up with those horrid, unwieldy names?

      Considering it can go by the 'Windows LISA', Apple may have something to talk about.

      Though their Lisa was a failure...

    • by truthsearch (249536) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:55PM (#26920937) Homepage Journal

      Apple calls it MobileMe [apple.com].

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by stefanburt (874462)
      Why not just call it Windows Live Share and forget the rest of the nonsense? I would love to see the snappy advertising poster to this campaign, "New Windows 7 with Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5", with a picture of a neural region non specific person looking completely confused and longing for the boring old days of one build of an os with-other tons of confusing versioning numbers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jgrahn (181062)

      Dubbed "Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5,"

      Apple would've called it "iShare" or something else friendly and inviting. Who does MS hire to come up with those horrid, unwieldy names?

      Maybe the same guy who came up with "HP OpenView Configuration Management Application Self-Service Manager". It's so unwieldy, even making an acronym of it doesn't help: HPOVCMASSM.

      (What it is? Kind of apt-get for Windows, done badly.)

    • by I cant believe its n (1103137) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:17PM (#26921177) Journal

      Dubbed "Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5,"

      Apple would've called it "iShare" or something else friendly and inviting. Who does MS hire to come up with those horrid, unwieldy names?

      That would be Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg.

      • by Daimanta (1140543)

        The guys at the office call him as Wilhelm if you are interested.

      • by wolfemi1 (765089)
        No, it's his boss, Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern- schplenden- schlitter- crasscrenbon- fried- digger- dingle- dangle- dongle- dungle- burstein- von- knacker- thrasher- apple- banger- horowitz- ticolensic- grander- knotty- spelltinkle- grandlich- grumblemeyer- spelterwasser- kurstlich- himbleeisen- bahnwagen- gutenabend- bitte- ein- nurnburger- bratwustle- gerspurten- mitz- weimache- luber- hundsfut- gumberaber- shonedanker- kalbsfleisch- mittler- aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Apple called it "iDisk." That name was taken, so MS had to pick the next best one.

    • by furby076 (1461805)

      Apple would've called it "iShare" or something else friendly and inviting. Who does MS hire to come up with those horrid, unwieldy names?

      Two different philosophies: 1) Less descriptive, but sounds cool - may leave the person saying "I have no clue what this does"
      2) MOre descriptive, sounds something NASA would use but gives more description

      All depends how you want to go about it. Though this is pre-release, by release date they may very well change the name to say "Windows Live ID Sign-In Assistant" and drop the versioning

      • Well it does seem like there's a third option: pick something that is relative simple but that gives the user some idea of what the service does.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Complexity is somewhat embedded in their culture.

      Just look at their software, most of it is geared to the techie user, not the 'average joe'. They have a knack to make the easy complex.

      I cant tell you if its intentional or not, but it works out that way most of the time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by edraven (45764)

        Yeah, as opposed to something like Linux, which is... oh wait... crap.
        No offense to Linux users, I'm one myself, but it's just not everyday that you see Microsoft described as "geared to the techie user". Everything in Windows is obfuscated and hidden from the technical user by the elaborate machinations designed to allow the 'average joe' to accomplish simply only those things that Microsoft assumes the 'average joe' wants to do.

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Yes but notice the word "Assistant"...

      Remember the Office "Assistant" Clippy!

      Made sense right? Because a paper clip helps (or assists) you to keep your documents together.

      Now using this same premise what does this new technology do? Why it helps you share files.

      Introducing "Sharey"!

      Now, who shares? Communists! What is the symbol of Russia? A Bear! Now I am pretty sure a "Share Bear" already exists, so they might have to buy some IP to pull this off...

      OK time for my meds...

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:01PM (#26922415)

      Dubbed "Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5,"

      Apple would've called it "iShare" or something else friendly and inviting. Who does MS hire to come up with those horrid, unwieldy names?

      Don't tempt them, I just know they're going to rename it iSoar.

    • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3@nosPAm.phroggy.com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:04PM (#26922471) Homepage

      Microsoft has decided that labeling everything "Windows Live" is more important than having anybody understand what the hell you're talking about.

    • I wouldn't even call this a name, it's more like a descriptive sentence. This naming scheme has irritated me for quite some time. I kind like the some of the codenames they use but somewhere along the line, I suspect marketing, they have a system of using names that they think are plain, intuitive and include the existing name of whichever parent product they are associated with. This usually means the name will end up being too long and far from iconic. I have never been a fan of the iPoop style names but
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @03:50PM (#26920853) Homepage

    The Microsoft announcement says "Use of the software is governed by the Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistance 6.5 Beta License Agreement accessible as a file in this download." So you can't read the terms of service without downloading (and installling?) the software.

    For something that opens up remote access to local machines, with that access under the control of Microsoft, this matters. What responsibility does Microsoft take for the security of your stored data? Is the system HIPPA compliant? Would it meet the standards for confidentiality of legal work product? Those of the Industrial Security Manual for unclassified but sensitive information? Does Microsoft claim any ownership rights in your data (like Facebook just tried?) Can your stored data be used to target advertising (like Google does?) What cryptosystem is being used? Who has access to the keys?

    Until all those questions have been answered and the answers reviewed by qualified third parties, using this system in a business environment might be construed as gross negligence.

    • by Unoriginal Nick (620805) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:21PM (#26921241)

      The Microsoft announcement says "Use of the software is governed by the Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistance 6.5 Beta License Agreement accessible as a file in this download." So you can't read the terms of service without downloading (and installling?) the software.

      If you scroll down further, you'll see "Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5 beta License Terms.rtf" which can be downloaded and viewed separately without having to install the program.

    • by furby076 (1461805)

      So you can't read the terms of service without downloading (and installling?) the software.

      Uninstall

      Is the system HIPPA compliant?

      They have no more responsibility to protect your medical records then Google does if you use gmail to send your medical records. HIPPA is for patient, doctor, medical facilities. Now if MS started to advertise and offer services of medical data storage then they would have to follow HIPPA laws.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Is the system HIPPA compliant? Would it meet the standards for confidentiality of legal work product? Those of the Industrial Security Manual for unclassified but sensitive information?

      You forgot to ask if this software is UL listed, meets local building codes, and if it weighs less than a duck.

      What cryptosystem is being used? Who has access to the keys?

      That is the right question.

  • Actually, I think Microsoft's Skydrive is already a good platform for sharing, 25GB space free, share with people who have live passport, and not just photos, but all file types. More importantly, Mac users can use it too. You just need a web browser.
  • TPB situation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stimpleton (732392) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:03PM (#26921027)
    Presumably, if someone shares copyrighted files with this system, then a similar argument would apply that the prosecution is using against the current Pirate Bay case.

    MS would be the pirate bay in concept.
    • by furby076 (1461805)
      Unless MS promises to monitor and try and prevent people from sharing copyrighted material. Something pirate bay does not do. There are many applications, sites, etc that allow you to store/share files on remote systems but it all depends on how they are setup to be used. I don't think MS is going to open up the file sharing like torrents, you will need to log in via your .Net passport - so unlike pirate bay where thousands of people will hit a torrent, this will be limited to a few people. I am also wi
  • For a moment I thought they meant they'd put a BitTorrent client in the OS like Linux distros do.

    Thinking about it, that would actually be scary.

  • by Seth Kriticos (1227934) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:08PM (#26921101)
    C:> tracert myshare.live.com
    traceroute to myshare.live.com (12.34.56.78), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
    your.provider.com (234.213.535.213) 43.436 ms 45.114 ms 46.053 ms
    check.riaa.com (234.24.24.546) 43.436 ms 45.114 ms 46.053 ms
    check.mpaa.com (34.57.25.123) 43.436 ms 45.114 ms 46.053 ms
    check.us.gov (34.63.32.467) 43.436 ms 45.114 ms 46.053 ms
    spam.group.net (43.64.32.57) 43.436 ms 45.114 ms 46.053 ms
    myshare.live.com (234.213.535.213) 43.436 ms 45.114 ms 46.053 ms

    *connection successfully established*
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > check.riaa.com (234.24.24.546) 43.436 ms 45.114 ms 46.053 ms

      Haha! That's not an IPv4 address. But wait... you're on to something here!

      Wow, we could get more IP addresses if we allowed the numbers to go up to 1000 or something.

      • Yeah, but we couldn't transmit them over the network. 'Cause, you know, they're transmitted as 32 bits.

        And that's why they created IPv6: 128 bits instead of 32. That many addresses should last a while...

  • C$ share? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Gothmolly (148874)

    Isn't Windows itself basically a giant filesharing application?

  • by alen (225700) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:30PM (#26921353)

    i've been a beta tester for while and it's not bad. from what i've seen they don't filter anything. very nice if you are on vacation.

    i had it set up on my laptop and home PC. On vacation i would take pictures of my son and copy the files to the shared folder and automatically sync to my home PC. And it has integrated terminal services where you don't need to add a firewall rule on your home firewall. you can get into your home PC from anywhere on the internet.

  • Security (Score:5, Funny)

    by K_E_Morr (463022) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:48PM (#26921595)

    I'm sure this thing will be completely bullet proof security wise.

    • by edraven (45764)

      I think we can anticipate that, considering it's being created by the company that has the most well known security reputation of any company, world-wide.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:06PM (#26921799)

    Okay, I realize there are Microsoft fanboys who, like Apple fanboys and Ubuntu fanboys, get all giggly whenever a new version of their favorite OS is about to be released. But it seems like any "anticipation" regarding Windows 7 has more to do with people wanting to get past the PR disaster that has been Vista.

    Calling Windows 7 "highly-anticipated" is analogous to saying rabies vaccine is "highly-anticipated" by a person who's just been bitten by a rabid dog.

  • FTA:

    Microsoft boasts that its system for inviting (and omitting) users is more complicated than its competitors'.

    I hope they mean 'sophisticated', but then again, this is M$.

  • Why would i want to share information with my friends just to have it tracked/manipulated/restricted/reported by Microsoft and their media buddies?

  • New tricks? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jalefkowit (101585) <jason@@@jasonlefkowitz...net> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:44PM (#26922205) Homepage

    Dubbed "Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5"...

    Who says Microsoft can't do marketing? Take that, haters!

  • "Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5,"

    Give it to MS marketing to come up with a really grandmother-friendly name. I'm sure my mom and your average Joe will gladly text each other "hey can you windows-live-id-sign-in-assistant-send me that file?"

    Whatever you think of Apple, at least they would've called this "iShare" or something.

  • Again, another attempt by M$ to control what you can and cant do,
    instead of leaving it to you to know what you should and should not do!

  • What if we use it to share windows 7? Is it gonna work?

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

Working...