One of the most important factors for whether Microsoft’s next OS, Windows 8, will be a success is its app ecosystem. But if the company’s stand-alone Photos app is any indication of what’s to come, the company could see major success.

The new Win 8 Photos app greatly exceeds what Microsoft has done before with photos inside Windows. Instead of browsing the images that are locally stored on your machine, the app will let you see files from the web and your machine all in the same place, creating a giant and easy-to-access scrapbook of your memories.

“We realize the myriad places you have to go to see all of your photos, so we decided to bring them all to you in one place,” Windows Live group program manager Brad Weed wrote in a detailed blog post. “Because you can connect your Microsoft account to services like Facebook and Flickr, you can get to all of your photos and all of those memories just by signing in to Windows 8 with your Microsoft account.”

Microsoft emphasizes that the app will work best if you connect it with its cloud storage offering, SkyDrive, and its Windows Phone OS. (Although, the experience looks solid even without connecting to these.)

“Of course, the Photos app works best with our SkyDrive service, and with Windows Phone, you can automatically send all the pictures from your Phone to SkyDrive,” Weed wrote. “This makes the Photos app in Windows 8 a great way to show off your photos without having to huddle around a phone.”

From all the pictures we’ve seen of the app, it actually does look quite good. It gives you many ways to view, organize, import, and share photos, and it creates an engaging experience for looking at years of memories in a fluid manner. Fingers crossed that we’ll see more apps like this before Windows 8’s launch.

Take a look at the gallery below for more views of this awesome-looking app:

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