Live Mesh .. we barely knew ye ..

That’s actually not true .. but it was so catchy.

I’ve been using Windows Live Mesh since it first came out in Technology Preview in 2008. Originally the brainchild of Ray Ozzie (some would say the master of sync), Microsoft has made the decision to discontinue the service in favor of SkyDrive, another product with similar synchronization functionality.

Live Mesh offered folder synchronization with Mesh Synced Storage (under several other names, but essentially an early version of SkyDrive), and the capability to connect multiple machines into your provide synch network (a “device mesh” in 2008 terminology). Mesh or SkyDrive, synchronization has some great features:

If you’re a user of multiple PCs or other devices, synchronization gives you the ability to drop files into synched folders:

  • Very handy if you leave a desktop machine at your work and want to manage those files when you get home. Your work is waiting for you when you arrive.
  • Also handy for working on the go .. Mesh had a Windows Phone component.
  • World-wide accessibility, either by PC, device or by downloading files from the web.
    The coolest of the cool: synchronization with cloud storage effectively eliminated the need to do PC backups .. all you need to do is sync the folders you want to protect and your backup worries are over.
      • Buy a new PC? No problem .. install the sync software first, and your files (including driver and device drivers) will follow you to the new machine.
      • Need to rebuild your old machine? See the above.
      • Lose your machine entirely? Your work is safely stored in the cloud.

I’ll follow the masses to SkyDrive and give it a good shakeout .. will be interesting to see if it will satisfy my use cases:

  • A root folder called ‘sync’ under which I have a number of folders, each shared with different people or machines. I use this for various virtual connections .. pulling files onto cloud servers, and so on.
  • A desktop shortcut into which I can simply drop a current file to ensure it will find it’s way to my next machine.
  • The ability to share individual folders with specific people or teams .. all while keeping other folders secure for myself or other teams.
  • Synchronization of my Email signatures and web favorites.

So, join the crowd and grab SkyDrive. Navigate to, log in with your LiveID and set up some folders to sync or share. While you’re there, investigate the SkyDrive apps for various devices and applications (including a SkyDrive-synchronized OneNote). There is also a SkyDrive Pro version (call it SkyDrive’s bigger brother) with more capacity (and a price tag).

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

One Response to Live Mesh .. we barely knew ye ..

  1. Pingback: Warming up to SkyDrive « OpsanBlog

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