It’s hard not to ask the question that many folks are already asking over on the Windows Live FolderShare Team blog. In reaction to an announcement that FolderShare is going away and getting replaced with Windows Live Sync, the obvious question is: why Live Sync and not Live Mesh? It’s a fair puzzle to be perplexed over and it echoes the same sentiment we’ve had for a few years now: why have all of these overlapping tools in the Windows Live world?
I’m sure there are very good technical or platform reasons that these overlaps exist. Perhaps too much time, effort and money have been thrown at some solutions and therefore, it’s not yet cost-effective to morph similar ones together or summarily just end some. But the situation keeps repeating itself and it brings one key element to mind: Microsoft either doesn’t yet have or can’t effectively communicate precise, long-term consumer service strategies. I’m not a Mobile Me customer, nor would I say that the platform is the best solution out there. But comparing the two, it does emphasize the simple and communicative differences between Microsoft and Apple and that goes a long way towards explaining consumer sentiment between the two brands.
In any case Windows Live Sync will appear in December with these features:
- More folders and files – sync up to 20 folders with 20,000 files each.
- Integration with Windows Live ID – no more extra sign-in stuff to remember.
- Integration with the Recyle Bin – no more separate Trash folder to fiddle with.
- New client versions for both Windows and Mac.
- Unicode support – sync files in other languages.