Update: Microsoft PR sent me this statement: “Windows Live is a set of services built around people. Our major goal is to unify customers’ worlds so they have access to the people and information they want anytime, anywhere from any device. We are already making major investments in roaming scenarios with our services, as well as search and sharing scenarios across PCs and devices with things like Sharing Folders in Windows Live Messenger and folder sharing and sync with our acquisition of FolderShare. We’ll continue to invest in services that enable anywhere, anytime access and Live Drive is the codename for a project in this space. We have no other details to announce at this time.” Personally, I thought Stuart had a more “human” voice.
We’ve speculated that Windows Live Drive, Microsoft’s upcoming online storage service, may be launching very soon. New information today suggests that the internal Live Drive team formed around the end of last year, and contains some additional information as well.
Stuart Padley is a Microsoft developer who keeps a personal blog here. He doesn’t post very often (his last post was October 2005), but on Sunday he wrote a post called “Working on Live Drive?” and says that he was hand picked by Ray Ozzie (or Ray Ozzie’s technical assistant, it isn’t clear) to join “a small team of renegade hardcore architect/developer/test types” and work on Windows Live Drive. The post was quickly deleted, but was noticed.
In addition to talking about joining the team, Stuart also points to discussions about Live Drive on Wikipedia and Fortune, saying “I don’t think either of these descriptions are correct” but that both contain “elements of truth”. There isn’t much more information, although he seems to stress that this is a hand picked commando team (my words), which suggests that Microsoft is taking this product seriously. Stuart also say that he’ll be focusing on answering questions about Live Drive on this blog. I’m pretty sure that won’t be happening.
The most interesting aspect of this story is that someone yelled and got the post pulled down. Microsoft should know there is no better way to get someone’s attention in the blogosphere than pulling down a post. Robert Scoble calls this “breaking into jail” and I agree. If you are going to give your developers blogs, let them post. Nothing Stuart wrote was particularly confidential – we all know this is coming.
I have an email in to Microsoft PR for a comment. No word yet. For additional backup material, here is our post on Google Drive, and this is our (now somewhat dated) overview of the online storage space.