When Dropbox introduced Carousel, it made a bid to be the home for all your photos. Microsoft wants to make a similar pitch. Today, the company outlined new ways to import, manage and share your photos on OneDrive, its cloud storage platform. Again, it is far from the first company to do so, so we can view its efforts from a historical perspective.
On the import side, you can now save files directly from the company’s Outlook.com cloud mail service, and Windows users on either editions 7 and 8 (but not 9, natch) will now be able to back up photos that are received from non OneDrive devices, along with screenshots, which can now be automatically backed up.
Also out in the day’s updates is the ability to create albums — groups of your photos that are shareable, unsurprisingly — and the ability to better manage photos that you have tagged. Albums is rolling out first to iOS, and later to Android and Windows Phone. Yes, you can expect the usual griping from Windows Phone users.
More importantly, however, is the new search features that OneDrive introduced. In partnership with Bing — which Microsoft is still not selling — the the company has built in the ability to, and I quote, “search for Office documents and PDFs by text inside of them and photos based on time, location, or text that is extracted from images themselves.” Whatever you took a picture of, you can search for it.
Finally the company has created a weekend recap product to email you the best of your weekend photography on Monday. Because nothing appeals like the reminders of hangovers past while at the office at 8 on a Monday morning.
OneDrive has an important home inside of Windows 10 — Microsoft’s cloud play is not a product aimed at the few. The above puts it into feature competition with other cloud providers when it comes to offering a decent photo environment. Whether that work boosts engagement is the next question.
Microsoft, how about some new usage and storage metrics?