FolderShare becomes Windows Live Sync. So what about Live Mesh?


WindowslivelogoIt’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.

Seems to me that Live Mesh would essentially offer all this and more by adding remote desktop support an both mobile and cross-platform clients. I must be out of sync to think there’s a problem here.



From how I understand it, Mesh is a platform on which the current “mesh” file share service has been built more of as a proof of concept as opposed to an actual service/application . Live Sync is an actual “production” service. The Mesh folder share service may not see the light of production once Mesh is out of beta…

What I do like about Mesh vs. FolderShare, is the “cloudtop” or the ability to access that information directly on your mesh desktop vs. P2P nature of FolderShare… I would hope that we get to see that feature enabled in LiveSync (or in SkyDrive which is what I really think) and have the Mesh service start to go away.

Mark Roddis

The big difference between the new Live Sync and Mesh is the status.

Folder Share has been through the whole beta program and MS now seem to think it is ready for production.

Mesh on the other hand has only just entered public beta and is far from ready for a production platform.

MS NEED a production ready sync platform. After all, much of their strategy calls for it so the fact that Mesh is at least 12 months away leaves a hole. Live Sync fills this hole (for now) although lets hope we see the two technologies merge together at a later date.


For that matter, what about SkyDrive? Why not merge all three services together?

Live Mesh actually “sounds” cool too. It’s got that cool hip sounding name, so it would appeal to a lot more than just the business IT guys like me.

I tried Foldershare a while back and it worked great, but now that Mesh has a Mac and Mobile client, it is a much better solution. Especially since you can even remote desktop to PC’s… expand that to Mac, and you’ve got a real winner.


I liked Folder Share for syncing a lot better than Live Mesh. While part of this was because FS actually had a Mac client (whereas LM did not until just recently), even on my PCs the FS interface is superior, in my opinion.

I was actually glad to see that they’re staying with it, albeit under a different name.

As for LM, it’s still the “engine” behind the syncing, as far as I know. And of course it also has the mobile components, right? FS is just computer to computer file sync.

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