Microsoft offers hosting service through XP

Users of Microsoft Corp.'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, which should allow users to access their files from any computing device with an Internet browser.

Microsoft tapped Xdrive Technologies Inc. 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 US$4.95 per month for 75M bytes of storage. Users can set up shared folders that other friends or co-workers can access, and Xdrive provides a data-backup service to retrieve any lost information a user might need, said 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 said. 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 said. "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 co-workers can be allowed to work directly with files or, for example, have read-only or print-only access, Klessig said.

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 would be limited in what kinds of files they could display. As handheld devices are equipped with improved screen size, file support and bandwidth, the viewing problems should be solved, Klessig said.

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

Xdrive, based in Santa Monica, California, can be reached at +1-310-883-2800 or

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