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Dropbox plans Windows 8 touch support

The file-sharing service is adapting its software the live tiles and touch actions of Windows 8's new interface.

Aditya Agarwal, Dropbox's vice president of engineering
Aditya Agarwal, Dropbox's vice president of engineering Stephen Shankland/CNET

PARIS -- Dropbox plans to launch a version of its software that will let Windows 8 customers use the file-sharing service on the Microsoft's new operating system.

"We are going to be launching our client app for Windows 8," said Aditya Agarwal, Dropbox's vice president of engineering, speaking at the LeWeb conference here. The software will of course work in the traditional desktop mode shared with earlier Windows versions, but also with the new touch-centric user interface of Windows 8 spotlighted with Microsoft's new Surface tablet, he said.

The move isn't a major surprise; core to the value of Dropbox's service is the idea of transferring files across many different devices. The Web interface is useful, but having files actually stored on a machine means they're backed up, immediately accessible, and discoverable through an operating system's search.

Dropbox already is available with Windows' earlier interface as well as on other major operating systems including OS X, Android, and iOS. However, Agarwal didn't comment on whether the company plans to extend to Windows Phone.

YouSendIt, a competitor, launched its Windows 8 app last week.

"We're already seeing thousands of downloads a day," said Chief Executive Brad Garlinghouse. "I'm more bullish than many."