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Microsoft Research Social App Marries Web, Desktop

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Microsoft Research has unveiled the Social Desktop, a new proof-of-concept application that integrates features from the Windows operating system and the Windows Azure cloud infrastructure to enable users to share files from their desktops through social networking. Social Desktop combines Web-oriented sharing with the desktop to enable users to share files such as photos or videos as easily as sharing Web links. Files also can be accessed remotely through Social Network, which enables users to preview desktop-saved files and add social context, such as comments, related items, and tags. In addition to using Windows and Azure, the Social Desktop also uses Silverlight, Microsoft's cross-browser runtime environment and player for multimedia files. A Microsoft spokesperson says Social Desktop is only a research prototype and will not be in Windows 7, or available for public use. However, the Social Desktop site does say the application leverages new search features in Windows 7, so it could become available to Windows 7 users at some point in the future.

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