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If you've been following us closely, you know we've had two different synchronization services: Windows Live Sync and Live Mesh beta. We’ve heard two things loud and clear. First, people who use either Sync or Mesh rely on the services every day to connect them back to their PCs and sync their important files across multiple PCs. And second, people want to know why we have two such similar services, and how they connect to Windows Live and SkyDrive. So, we’ve focused on making Sync a great application for people that use multiple PCs – and making SkyDrive a great service for sharing documents and photos on the web. Here are a few highlights of the new offering.
Update 6/24/2010: The new Windows Live Sync beta is now available for download!
If you're trying out Windows Live Sync for the first time, you can find out more from our Windows Live Sync preview page and then download the upcoming beta. Note that, like other products in the new Windows Live Essentials beta, the new Sync beta requires Windows Vista or Windows 7 for PCs running Windows, and requires Leopard or higher for Mac.
If you're using Live Mesh or Windows Live Sync already, you’ll have to uninstall the previous version before you start using the new beta version – we’ve written up a quick FAQ to help you get started. We know there are things you love about each product, and we understand it might take some time to get used to the changes. But we think that, as you use the new Sync beta together with Windows and Windows Live, you’ll soon find it a familiar experience.
Thanks for all the great feedback you’ve provided us on Live Mesh beta and Windows Live Sync. We look forward to your comments on the new Windows Live Sync beta and to making future innovations to the Sync experience. To learn more about Sync, visit the Windows Live Sync preview page, and then give the new beta a try, now available for download here.
David Treadwell Vice President, Windows Live
Is remote desktop going to be available for Mac users? There is no information about Mac version at all on any of your sites Mac version of Mesh didn't have this feature, this why I'm asking.
I love that Live Mesh has been promoted to a 1st class product. I was afraid it would die a slow death. I have some thoughts about the new offering...
- while it uses SkyDrive for storage (cool), it limits you to 2 gigs (uncool -- mesh was 5 and skydrive gives you 25 for eff's sake)
- it doesn't show "blue" folders + sidebar info like Mesh does
- as far as I know, there are no advanced sync features like for automatic conflict resolution (conflicts between X and Y, X always wins)
I had a problem with conflicts storing the temporary files always within the C:\ drive. I have a smallish SSD as my main system partition, so it filled up quickly when trying to cache a large collection of camera RAW files.
All in all, I'm REALLY happy this is getting a breath of life. Here's hoping it continues to grow and improve!
I really liked the nice Mesh web desktop and the docked folder status of mesh. A shame to see that go, I was hoping for a desktop anywhere, where you could more or less drag your silverlight app from your desktop, to your web desktop and them back onto your laptop.
I hope those feature will be added to future versions of sync
Also... I don't buy that the 2GB limit was "to keep the service free" -- this is space that you're already giving away for free with SkyDrive, so what does it matter if it uses 2GB or 15?
It would be even greater if the MyPhone service could be integrated with this!
You have ruined Live Mesh, and have broken my heart. There was once a time when Live Mesh was going to be Microsoft's consumer cloud center and future, when apps and devices would be Mesh-aware and accessible anytime,anywhere. What happened to that? Why aren't we hearing anything about the Windows Live developer platform?
And why aren't you adding a paid subscription model for Live Sync/Skydrive RIGHT NOW? I get you cannot provide too much synced storage for free, but believe me when I say there is definitely a market for a freemium Windows Live experience (i.e. bundle of more synced storage, Hotmail Plus, ad-free Windows Live). Don't tell me about "we will consider it for a future release", we want, need, desire it NOW!
When is Mesh, as we know it today, going away? I currently use it to remotely manage a whole office of Windows XP machines. They are a non-profit and most of their machines are old and donated so they won't run Vista / 7. I'd like to know how long I have to find / setup a good replacement for mesh.
As the others here: I would be happy to pay a few bucks for more storage. As it seems now, Live Sync does not have a advantage over DropBox (which features Linux also) as it did before with 5 GB.
Where is the Windows Live Sync client for Windows Mobile? That was my favorite part about Live Mesh.
This is a big problem for me... I use Live Mesh to keep my Visual Studio projects (among other things) in sync across my desktop and laptops and I'm already at 2GB space used.
It's fine if you want to limit the amount of storage offered for free, but not even offering a paid solution means that I have to switch to another product entirely. Not cool.
I'd also like to know if this when (if?) this replaces Live Mesh. The drop from 5 GB to 2 GB means I can't switch anytime soon. If there were an option to pay a small amount for expanded storage, I'd gladly do so.
All in all, it seems like a decent compromise between the two services. But -- and this is a huge but -- I'm also confused by the decision to only allow 2GB storage. We have all that space sitting on SkyDrive for FREE -- why can't we use it? The justification doesn't make sense.
Even though I don't believe anyone competent will take notice of my post, I feel a strong urge to write a few proposals:
1. Windows Phone support - WM 6.1 would be excellent; WM 6.5 would be cool; WP7 is essential!!!
2. Why does Sync have to use it's own cloud storage?! Can't it just use the 25GB of Skydrive (shared with other WL services)?
3. I agree with the posts above with the need of premium service - extra GB in Skydrive. maybe Tasks support in hotmail + other stuff for $. ;)
I must sincerely say that you guys in Microsoft create great services, but, as always, you do not think everything through. What a pitty. You have such a great potential.
I too would be willing to pay for additional "sync" storage. And no matter what, please let us be able to move files between a "Sync" folder and a SkyDrive folder. Thanks!!!
@mageuzi, I don't think its the storage that is expensive...its the cpu/network utilization that is. Hopefully we'll see some Paid options.
OK, first of all, you people need to stop and think for a moment before complaining about the 2GB limit... this isn't a limit on PC-to-PC synchronization... this is a limit on in-cloud-only storage. If you bypass in-cloud for PC-to-PC (which you generally should), no 2GB limit.
Having said that... who's idea on the Live team was it to half-heartedly link it to SkyDrive for document editing but not all the way for storage? 25GB for everyone free via SkyDrive and if we want more, give us a choice to pay!
The reason why you cannot use the full 25GB you have on SkyDrive for Live Sync is because you don't actually have 25GB. MS have said that you have but have provided no sane mechanism to upload that much data, if everybody could and actually did upload 25GB MS would be in trouble in the same way that banks would be in trouble if everybody drew out the cash they supposedly have in the bank. I think it is that simple, anyone offer a better explanation?
I think the 2GB limit is a little small. When using Mesh the then 5GB limit became full pretty quickly. Can't you just incorporate the whole 25GB from Skydrive in this? Also I miss the Live Desktop from Mesh which allowed you to sync devices from the cloud and not have to have them all switched on at the same time.
Hi all, thanks for the comments and the passion around Live Mesh.
The Mesh team joined the Windows Live team to make this new version of Live Sync possible, and we're all excited to show off the results of our work. Quota is clearly a hot topic here, so let me tackle that.
First off, as @GoodThings2Life points out, you can sync 100's of GB betwen PCs, it's only cloud storage that is limited to 2GB.
Second, we hear you wanting to see Sync and SkyDrive be the same thing. This release we really focused SkyDrive on supporting the Office collaboration scenarios that Jason Moore mentioned in his Jun 7 post, and on ensuring that, as he said, "Office 2010 + SkyDrive + Office Web Apps give you the best productivity experience across the PC, phone, and browser". For Sync we focused on making P2P as fast and reliable as possible (we learned a lot from the Mesh Beta!)
Last, It’s clear there is demand for more than 2GB of storage from folks that have used Live Mesh, even though we’ve seen most use less than 250MB of cloud storage.
Principal Program Manger Lead for Live Sync Client Runtime (the PR guys made me promise to use my title in my first reply ;)
This has almost nothing to do with the post, but more with the commenting system itself. I really wish there were a way to reply to specific people and for them to be notified for it. It's really annoying when I ask a question here and I never realize someone has answered it because there is no email notification. I think you should really implement such basic functionality that is already on tech news sites such as Engadget and Gizmodo.
I currently use LiveSync to sync my laptop and PC - I'm a bit concerned about this idea that the new sync will automatically choose where to put the files as my PC's don't have the same disk setup. Will I still be able to manually choose where to send the sync'd files and folders on my laptop?
I currently use Mesh myself, and have setup some small businesses with this service which works incredibly well.
However wit ha 2gb limit I will now have to look for an alternative. I currently use about 3gb of cloud storage and even by cutting down the amount of files I store online this will leave me permanently worrying about hitting the limit. I understand how I can use Office Web Apps to partly solve this problem, but I would guess that only about 10% of my Mesh space is Office documents.
AWS and DropBox both have paid solutions which they seems to have worked out without too much trouble - do you recommend using one of these for users who require more than 2gb? Afterall, 2gb is not a lot of space for people looking to make a commitment to a service over the years.
Even Mobile Me gives 20gb of space. Maybe Mac users should consider this.
Aside from this I'm excited about this product, even though it will crippled by the 2gb limit which will put my off recommending "average" users adobt it.
Greatly agree with JordanB! Actually I like Mesh much than Sync !
So I'm confused. Is Mesh going away? Can you be clearer on what those of us with Mesh should be doing now?
Regarding the reduction in allocated space from 5GB to 2GB. I think you should consider Grandfathering all existing Mesh accounts to retain their 5GB limit. That way you don't upset anyone that is already using Mesh and you don't force those with high usage to move to another service. It's always harder to win back an existing customer, and with the implication that in the future the service will be linked to the 25GB SkyDrive storage, it seems very counter productive to lose those users.
I have read the FAQ site & the Live Sync preview page. I haven't seen a clear explanation of what Windows XP useres of Sync & Mesh should expect to happen. How long can we continue to use the existing service?
Thanks in advance,
@marky1124, @Bitzie, @mikeycooper: I'd encourage all Mesh users to try out the Live Sync beta once it's available, We'll be listening and responding to feedback from users throughout the beta period. We haven't made any announcements about the timeline for Live Mesh services. We'll provide at least 6 months from the time Sync releases (after the beta ends) to give you all time to move your content from Mesh to Sync. Also worth noting that if you currently use Mesh and want to try out the beta versions of Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker or other Essentials apps, you will automatically be upgraded to the new Windows Live Sync. Please make sure you have read the FAQ and instructions before proceeding.
@revanmj: We’ve made a lot of improvements to our Mac client, including adding P2P sync support, but we have no plans to add remote desktop for Mac.
@PScarratt: yes, you'll still have the ability to manually choose where folders go on each device. But we wanted to make the common case as easy as possible, so by default we'll put stuff in the same relative location on all your devices. If you choose to sync your Documents\GoodStuff folder from device #1 to device #2, we'll default to the same relative Documents\GoodStuff location on device #2. You can change that default from device #2.
What is the status of Mesh's file sharing between different Windows Live users? I collaborate on projects by sharing out Mesh folders between different people. We don't use Office for our work. Is this going to be possible with the new Live Sync?
@Jeremy Mazner, will we be able to manually move files between Sync "online" storage and SkyDrive (using web interface)?
If you have need to use Sync on XP, do not use the new version of Sync on any other machine according to this page: windowslivepreview.com/.../new
"If you have a Windows XP machine with Sync installed, you will not be able to synchronize files with computers running the new version of Sync."
I was really excited to see that an evolution of the Mesh product was finally coming. It's been looking fairly direction-less for a while and I'm keen to see it as a proper part of the Live experience. Until this....
"the new Sync beta requires Windows Vista or Windows 7"
It's all well and good but the primary machine I run Mesh on is still WinXP, and until you start giving away Win7 licences for free will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
"I'd encourage all Mesh users to try out the Live Sync beta once it's available, We'll be listening and responding to feedback from users throughout the beta period."
I'd love to, but can't :(
"We'll provide at least 6 months from the time Sync releases (after the beta ends) to give you all time to move your content from Mesh to Sync."
So unless I fork out for a new copy of Windows or you suddenly come up with an XP client I'm out of luck? Not the future for Live Mesh I was hoping for.
@Jeremy: Any word on development for the Windows Live platform, á la Live Framework? What about Mesh-enabled devices? Will they become Sync-enabled devices?? I remember hearing about plans for Mesh would eventually connect to all your devices, such as digital photo frames, printers, Xbox, Zune, phones, etc. Is this still the plan??
What about the Mesh API from the Live Framework? Will there be something like that for Live Sync in the future? Will I be able to use sync in my own applications to sync any data between computers and Windows Phone 7? I think the Mesh API was the greatest thing about Live Mesh and hopefully this is not gone.
@wigster: yep, sharing between users is still available (see above, "Of course, you can always give other people permission to access any of your Sync folders "), although you can only share with users running the same version. Sharing between the new Live Sync Beta and Live Mesh or current Live Sync devices isn't possible.
@JohnCz: unfortunately not something we got to in this release.
Thanks Jeremy, I appreciate your candor. Product teams have to prioritize or they'll never ship. Wave 4 is a huge release by all accounts. Its my hope and suggestion to the Windows Live Team that you switch gears for awhile and get into a Spring/Fall release schedule like XBox/Zune. Great work though!!!
@Jeremy: Your silence says it all.
I'm a little surprised (but pleasantly) to see MS commenting in this thread. At least three people here have asked about Windows Phone integration in one form or another. Unlike miroslavh85, I don't really care about full WP7 support because I know the WP7 has already promised cloud storage, so I'm sure that's being worked on in some way, and also WP7 doesn't actually support a client accessible local file system due to the sandboxing, so it doesn't make sense. But what about WP6.0/6.5? Mesh for Windows Phone was a bit buggy and slow, but it gets the job done and I absolutely love it. It is an essential app for me. Any word on this? There are a lot of us on WP6 that are at least two years away from any phone contract upgrade.
Also, MyPhone's storage limit for pictures is an absolute joke (250MB? Seriously?) so 2GB of Cloud or BETTER YET, unlimited syncing to my desktop will fulfill my picture and video taking needs for some time!!!
Thanks sincerely to MS for communicating back to the users on the comment thread. I have such high hopes for the new wave of Live offerings, and MS in general. There is SO MUCH POTENTIAL -- I just hope it gets realized.
1. Bring higher or free and / or paid storeage (I currently have a dropbox account with 50GB for $9.99 a month. I would like to see Sync and Skydrive get to the same level and feature set of a dropbox or equivalent. I will pay for more storage but you need to have the feature set to go along with it or there is no value
2. I speak for myself here but many others as well when I say we want more frequent releases of features. Adding features over time makes changes easier to swallow and learn as well. Not only that this keeps the product fresh. Massive changes like this over a years since last major release is just too long
Any ETA for the release of that new beta of Sync ? I have never used Mesh, but as you recommand to look at the new Live Sync, I will do that. I was testing dropbox too, which has the advantage to be available with a native application for Android , iPhone, iPad.
I was dissappointed by the lack of control of dropbox to define the folder to be sync, and I would need a much bigger space to sync some photo folders I m synchronizing easily between my laptop and server ( most of the time connected by LAN , but the possibility to sync them while I m travelling is a must-have )
also finally, I m glad to see you are waking up, I was a big fan of TSE service, but with new better alternative such as Teamviewer I wasn't using TSE for a while. You could take the advangate back if you have a convenient remote desktop ( resizing the host resolution ??? )
@Jeremy Mazner: Maybe you could consider giving people ability to connect remotely to Windows computers from Mac at least? I'd like to connect to my home server from my MacBook Pro without running VMware or Boot Camp.
Good to finally see an update, but this is absolutely horrible news for me.
I've long used Live Mesh to keep my parents' computers synced. Their primary desktop is a 5 yr old Dell running Windows XP Pro which is not going anywhere soon--with 2GB RAM, 1GB PCI-E graphics, and 500GB HD, it runs just fine, thank you. Live Mesh keeps their shared Pictures, Videos, and Music folders synced to their new Windows 7 Toshiba notebook, and ensures there is always a backup copy should a HD fail. The 5GB of Mesh cloud storage is heavily used to share pics and video clips of their grandkids, and we use the remote desktop feature so I can help them remotely.
What I get out of this news is that at some point, not only are they going to use the ability to share via Mesh cloud storage, they're going to be forced off the system simply because their primary desktop still runs XP?
Who at Microsoft really thinks this is a good idea for the consumer? I understand you want to migrate people to Windows 7, but this is a really poor move. Reducing the 5GB to 2GB is rotten, but locking out XP users? There's no techonological reason why the system shouldn't sync between XP and 7--you have multiple services that do now, as do many competitors (Dropbox, Syncplicity, Humyo, others.) Like previous commenters have pointed out, it is difficult to regain the trust of a user once you piss them off like that--and skimming the comments, it looks like MS is silent and not answering any commenters who have brougth up the abandonment of XP users here.
Understand that I am not a Windows 7 hater, I think it's a fine OS, adn run it myself--but for my folks, for what they do--their XP system is rock-solid and takes care of all their needs, and I'm not going to invest in an unnecessary upgrade which offers little benefit without a modern multi-core system to run on.
I guess I'll look into a paid subscription to Dropbox now--recent betas allow you to select which folders are synced now, just like Mesh (with a simpler and more user-friendly interface to boot, no having to redirect folders that always appear on the desktop.)
I really expected to see this turn into the much anticipated Microsoft cloud-everything system. It's a shame to see it effectively regress in what may very well be little more than a thinly-veiled attempt to force users away fromXP.
No paragraph breaks within comments? Sorry guys, never posted here before, and didn't realize the formatting was so poor--that was broken into five paragraphs when I posted.
I have been a Live Sync and Mesh user for over a year, and have loved the two applications. Each separate application has provided me with the separation and security I have needed for the specific task each application was originally designed to perform. Mesh has allowed me to remote into personal and work computers that I need to support. It has allowed me to run apps on my different work machines and personal computer ranging from Win XP, Vista 64, and Windows 7. I was reluctant to try it on Server 2003, but I think it would have worked there also.
Working for a non-profit I was able to use Live Sync to deliver review videos, and source files to producers and editors with a simplicity and reliability that FTP simply can not deliver, delivering files to as far as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Germany. The list of supported OS's included Win Server 2003, Win XP, Vista 64, Win 7 and Mac OS X.
I have grown very dependent on these rock Solid applications. I am very concerned to hear that Mesh and Live Sync are being rolled into one, with the reduction in published OS's reduced to Vista, Win 7, and Mac OS X. I understand Microsoft want to move everyone to Win 7, and I enjoy using Win 7. But being a non-profit, in this economy we can't afford even with the Microsoft non-profit discount to upgrade to Win 7, if the hardware will support the OS. For Live Sync as a distribution platform dual core hardware is simply overkill. And while Win 7 starter will probably run on these older machines, Starter does not support the Network domain connection capability that maybe needed. Microsoft Please provide connectivity to Win XP and Server 2003 in the new version. Don't leave Win XP hanging PLEASE.
It is disappointing to hear the reduction from 5G to 2G in Mesh. For Mesh and Shared collaborative projects in the web, it would be great to tie the full 25G of Skydrive and the new Web apps into the Mesh desktop: allowing an online accessible computer in the Cloud, were office desktops, could upload and share and collaborate in the cloud, and in a pinch remote control your remote office or home computer Wow.
@Eko - thanks for your comment re: line spacing and paragraphs. The issue should be fixed shortly - the paragraphs from your comments will appear as they should soon.
Come on Microsoft, what about this vision: channel9.msdn.com/.../Ori-Amiga-Programming-the-Mesh
Ori had even Mesh enabled his car entertainment system. But it sound too good to be true :-(
I have used MESH for almost two years and have recommended it to many others. I understand new features for new OSs. (I have been in IT for over 40 eyars). Droping support for XP in MESH will hurt. There are still many XP machines in the wild.
@jeremy, could you expand on your response to @wigster about interoperability? You said that the new version of Live Sync doesn't interoperate with the currently-released version of Live Sync. Does this mean that all Live Sync clients worldwide will be upgraded at the same moment? If not, how will trouble be avoided if one participant in a sync is upgraded before another? Thanks.
@aguilaro, @divinglog re: Mesh platform: I thought I had already posted my response, sorry for the delay. We listened closely to feedback from the earlier Live Framework Community Technology Preview, which lead us to focus on Messenger Connect for developers, windowsteamblog.com/.../messenger-across-the-web.aspx . We will continue to listen to feedback from the developer and IHV community about how they want their devices to connect to, and interact with, Windows and Windows Live.
@Parrotlover77 and others re: mobile phones: While we recognize that some folks used Mesh on their mobile device, we didn’t see high usage of this feature overall and have no plans to carry this forward. We do of course let you sync your Windows Live mail, calendar, and contacts to your mobile phone, and have new features showing up in Windows Phone 7. The existing Live Mesh Beta for Windows Phone will continue to work until the migration to Live Sync has completed.
@Fabrice: we haven't announced the exact date, but in Piero's June 2nd post, he says "We’ll begin broader beta testing of the new Essentials in a few weeks". So it's coming soon. And definitely take a look at the new and improved Live Remote experience.
@Pete on interop: we're leaving it up to users to decide how and when to migrate their existing devices. When you're ready to transition to the new Live Sync, you can go upgrade each of your devices and re-establish the sync partnerships.
By the way, thanks all for the engagement. It's great to hear directly from our customers what you like and where we can improve, and many folks on the team are reading your comments.
@Jeremy: Thank you for your response, but Messenger Connect is no replacement for the Mesh API. I want to enable users of my application to sync their non file based data across their PC's and to their phone (just like the build in IE and Office sync in the new Live Sync). I don't think that the feedback from the Live Framework CTP (I participated) said "Please shut down the Live Framework Mesh API". The feedback was overall positive in the forum and lots of developers had great ideas with Mesh enabled applications. Please consider to bring this back with a Live Sync API, there is really a great demand, especially with the upcoming WP7.
@Jeremy: Thanks for your response. I, too, do not think Messenger Connect has anything to do with the Live Mesh API/Framework. You might remember this promo video done by Microsoft 2 years ago demonstrating the kinds of devices envisioned for Mesh: www.youtube.com/watch
There's also this screenshot which shows a Mesh-enabled printer, with access to printer settings and ink levels: www.liveside.net/.../Device-Support_5F00_1ADD25A0.jpg
Please don't abandon this awesome future for Windows Live! I'll be crossing my fingers for Windows Live developer news in 2011.
Thanks for the response, Jeremy. I appreciate it. However, I will say I am disappointed. I guess I will have to wait for the Dropbox client for WM for future needs on WM6.5. I have no plans to upgrade to WP7 (no offense, but I don't want an 'iphone' even if it is made by Microsoft and not Apple), so DropBox is probably better anyway since I will be able to migrate seemlessly from WM6.5 to Android.
Anyway, thanks again for the feedback and other than some disappointing mobile news about Mesh, the next Windows Live Wave looks pretty awesome. I'm already using SkyDrive with OneNote 2010 and it's really nice. A few hickups, but I'm sure it will be ironed out in no time.
@Jeremy, thanks for responding.
Let me clarify my question about interoperability.
I use Live Sync to share files with other people. I don't control those systems; in fact, I've never seen or touched them. As I understand it, when I upgrade everyone I share ANY Live Sync folder with will also have to upgrade. Then anyone else THEY share with will have to upgrade, and so on. That could be a very large number of people, many of whom I don't even know (friends of friends of friends...) I doubt I'm usual in using Live Sync with other people -- it's a feature that Microsoft has promoted. A hard transition like this might be acceptable for Mesh since it is a beta, but Live Sync Wave 3 is a production release.
As best I can tell, Microsoft didn't implement back-level compatiblity in Live Sync Wave 4. That's either a huge oversight or a real shame.
I'm looking forward to the release of a testing version, or even better the final version, of essentials and esspecially Sync. Being a user of Live Mesh for a long time for keeping my most important files save in case of a disaster I've grown to love this feature. Not just syncing between computers that I could do with the old Sync, Mesh gave me the option to be sure that my files where safe somewhere else.
That's why I think the new Sync should still be atleast 5 GB of space, since that's what I have today and I use almost 3 GB for my important documents and pictures.
Cutting down on space because statistics sais that people don't use more than 250 MB is not helping you out, seriously. Other services, like mail, give you lots of space, even up to 100 GB, but it's not like you are going to use that much, but you rather take the one with the option to use 100 GB than one that give you 1 GB, even if you will never use more than a few 100 MB.
Please don't leave the poeple that actually use your products fully in the rain.
I just want to echo what others have said about dropping XP support.
Right now, my dad is running Sync between three boxes:
- a work box (IT department supports XP, so XP it is)
- a first-gen netbook with a small SSD (no room to install W7, not to mention that spending $130 on an OS upgrade for a netbook is slightly insane, so XP it is)
- a desktop running W7
If I read the other comments correctly, roughly 6 months after the new sync comes out (or as soon as he installs any Wave 4 apps on his W7 box), my dad is completely screwed. There's simply no way for his files to sync anymore (other than a third-party product). And Microsoft doesn't seem to care - hello folks, there are PLENTY of reasons why people are stuck with XP, especially on netbooks or work computers.
This isn't like making new versions of Windows Live Messenger work only on Vista/7. For as long as the servers still allow logins from the last XP-compatible version of WLM, XP users will be able to keep communicating the same way as before. But here you are introducing a new thing, with an incompatible backend architecture, promising to shut down the old service's backend in 6 months, and not producing a client for the new thing for a huge chunk of machines out there. Thanks Microsoft.
I think you guys are really getting it right with this suite of new functionality in Windows Live. Think you'll find it takes a while for everyone to catch up on what is new. My feedback;
Live Mesh was/is astonishingly well thought through. I'll keep my fingers crossed the 'cloud' quota goes up from 2Gb to 5Gb (go on! drop 3Gb from SkyDrive! :))
Otherwise do you see a corporate version of the file sync/backup functionality becoming available?
Keep up the great work.
Wow! Apple and Google both move towards huge amounts of cloud storage and Microsoft puts together this as their stratergy for consumers?
In this stratergy will there be an option for users who wish to store more than a small amount of data? Having fixed storeage in the cloud is ridiculous. Google can offer 20gb on Picasa for $5.00 per year, granted Microsoft cannot compete with this on it's different business model but surely something closer to MobileMe's solution is possible?
Any hints as to whether or not anything is in the pipeline?
Or will there perhaps be a way of uploading data to SkyDrive which is not so cumbersome?
Thank you for your response. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to people here, even if the news is not all good, it does at least mean that we are able to exchange opinions and information.
As @nickfoster pointed out, it's a bit fruitless encouraging me to try the new service if XP is not supported. I'm in the same situation as others who have commented here, I have a mixture of Windows 7 & XP systems linked together now and not all of them are mine to upgrade. If XP is not supported then I simply will have to find another service. That is a real shame, and I'll be sorry to say goodbye.
I'm still hoping that you consider my idea of giving a 5GB limit to all of your existing Mesh users, even if I'm not able to be one of them.
All the best,
I can understand the need to leave XP behind. What I'm concerned about is the migration from Live Sync Wave 3 to Live Sync Wave 4. It seems that the two will not interoperate, and Microsoft is planning a gradual rollout over a period of several months. I have various folders Live Sync'd with 8 other people. As soon as one person upgrades we'll be unable to sync (in ever-changing ways) as the update is rolled out to everyone. This doesn't seem appropriate for a generally-released, production service like Live Sync, and I'm hoping there's a better answer.
Why Microsoft WHY!!!? Why are you alienating so many people by not supporting XP. It is use by more than 55% of all people ( see www.w3schools.com/.../browsers_os.asp and marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx ). I mean I just don't get it at all. Things like this are what makes me stop trying mew Microsoft products. How do you expect to compete with Google and Apple if you keep making poor decisions like this? I understand Jeremy this is not your call, but why are your bosses thinking by doing this to us. I am seriously going to start looking into other programs that meet my need and forget about trying out new Microsoft products because chances are someone else won’t keep on disappointing me as much as you have.
-A Losing Faith Follower
Sorry guys, that is suppose to be WHAT are your bosses thinking by doing this to us
@Jeremy I'm sorry, I must have read incorrectly. You're discontinuing mobile support with Sync? I guess this is all part of Mr. Ballmer's three screens and a cloud strategy. Mesh/Sync could have been amazing if it could easily synchronize my phone, PC and TV. I understand that not many used mesh on mobile, but honestly, the mobile version of Live Mesh (m.mesh.com) is not that amazing. Definitely not very touch-friendly, no sync, and nothing else. I understand that sync would be impossible with iPod touch because of the lack of a file system [until iOS 4 I believe], but I do not understand why you can't keep it with WinPho and WinMo, at the least. I was looking forward to being able to finish up my work on my mobile phone after leaving my computer, without having to worry about uploading single files. Mesh was perfect for your whole 3 screens and a cloud, and you've just reduced it to 1 screen [albeit with multiple computers] and a cloud [with 2 GBs of space].
Is mobile mesh considered for a future release or is it going the way of Courier?
Why did you guys decide to support Mac OS X but not Windows XP??
Did Mac users pay anything? NO.
Did I pay for XP?? YES.
It's time to change to Dropbox for syncing files with most OS.
Gbridge can be used for remote control across Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 x86 or x64.
Or just forget about Windows and move to Linux or Mac.
Will there be any comment from Microsoft as to whether or not any of these changes (namely the 2gb allowance and XP compatibility) will be addressed? Either with a definitive yes or no, or even a possible yes - 'we will keep reviewing the situation doesn't help anyone'
I currently collaborate with 8 others and am above the 2gb limited for Sync. If there is no indication as to what will happen in the future we will all have to move to DropBox or JungleDisk to continue working.
Any comment at all would be very much appreciated!
In some sense, I can understand ceasing developement for XP since it IS 10 years old. Of all the major software companies, MS provides the longest legacy support -- and before anyone runs off to get a Mac, Apple doesn't support software 10 years old either.
But, I don't understand stopping a service which a lot of people still use. No developing for it? Okay. Killing a perfectly functional product? Not so much. Mesh works fine as is for alot of people. Why kill it? There are a lot of reasons to switch to Windows 7, but it's not viable for a lot of people. For example, I made the switch, but I still have to run XP from time to time, because I can't log into my work with anything but XP.
A much bigger concern for me is the lack of support for WinMo 6. You just released a major update (6.5) in November. That's only been 7 months. Additionally, MS is still be supporting it as "Windows Classic". People have JUST bought their HD2 or TP2 phones (and can STILL buy them now). You're in effect, still selling WinMo 6.5, and you've decided to stop developing and supporting it?!?! You're supporting Mac OS, but not your own phone OS?!? People who buy their phones today, are stuck on contract for another TWO years, and you've basically said "too bad. WP7 and Mac is all we care about." I bought my phone 3 months ago, that means I'm not eligible for upgrade until 3/2012. Sounds like you're going to be killing Mesh quite a bit before that. I gotta say. I love MS products, but this is a slap in the face.
As to not many people using Live Mesh on their phones. You don't advertise it. I found it purely by chance. Put Live Mesh Mobile in the Marketplace, and you'll get plenty of users. You can't complain that no one uses it if you don't put it into your own marketplace. I find that Mesh is by far the easiest way to get files onto the phone, especially when I'm at work and don't have a cable handy.
As for trying out Live Sync. Love to, but I can't. I can't run Live Mesh at the same time, and Live Sync doesn't now and apparently will never by available for WinMo 6.5/Classic. Since a major reason I run Mesh is because of the phone integration, I see no reason to try out Sync, especially if I have to uninstall Mesh to do it. Kind of a conundrum, eh? You've got a power user (me) who can't try out your new service (Sync) and give you feedback, because you won't support his OS that you are still selling (6.5).
So much fail...
1) 2Gb??? FAIL!
2) No XP support for "Live Mesh successor" or should I say bastard? FAIL!
3) No way to install the beta without uninstalling Live Mesh? FAIL!
4) ...errr... do you guys know about a little thing called Live ID? If you have no idea, you can pay me to install Live ID for this blog's login.
Mesh was a stroke of genius by Microsoft. I'm a fan of your products and make a living knowing about it, but I try to be as impartial as I can; MS cannot often be called innovative. Mesh was not innovative. It was a beautifully executed example of what MS does well: taking innovations, and making them useful.
The Web Desktop was beautifully realized, and a pleasure to use.
Having my CV synced and available at all times on my Windows Mobile 6.1 phone was awesome. Awesome.
Having my huge collection of Windows boxen, from two Windows XP boxes at work, Windows 7 on my laptop and main box, Windows Home Server (Is the new Sync WHS compatible btw?). I can update a rolling presentation on a plasma screen at work from anywhere in the World with Mesh, via remote and syncing. Yes, I can use other technologies, but why when Mesh provides such an elegant solution?
I've got SSH and Remote Desktop for work - but why bother? Mesh Remote Control worked very, very well across all my systems, whether WAN or LAN.
I've recommended Mesh to colleagues and friends alike, such was the brilliance of the service. I would have moved to a premium version (dependant on pricing of course).
Please, please, either reconsider Mesh's usefulness, or maybe reconsider its place with Sync for consumers and Mesh for work. Sharepoint / Office Web isn't a suitable solution for all markets, particularly SME's, and Mesh could fill that bracket beautifully, AND bring in MS revenue.
I want to update to Live Essentials beta as I'm told MSN is more Win 7 friendly, and I want the various Win 7 features that come with Wave 4. However, while my company uses XP, I can NOT lose Mesh. So... I guess I put Wave 4 aside for now, and hope some of this feedback is making an impression.
Thank you for your time - I hope this was constructive feedback.
This is bad news for live mesh - on so many levels.
I really was worried that it was forgotten. I wish it was.
I guess my frustration stems from two factors:
Losing more than 50% space and not being able to install the newest live beta (don't want to/can't lose Live Mesh)
Not only have you not listened to user feedback (on Microsoft Connect)
you have done the opposite and removed features users wanted to see expanded.
Currently I am using ~3GB of the 5GB storage.
I use it mainly to sync my document folder (mainly because of Visual Studio projects, my messenger history and all I need for college).
It's these folders that make up roughly more than 2GB.
How do I use Live Mesh? I use it to sync my PC I use when I am at home with my laptop. Normally they are not used at the same time - essentially eliminating the possibility to sync them P2P. (btw, yes I am one of those people that sync OneNote ;) )
I don't like the idea to waste energy by turning an additional device on - just to sync some files.
I really don't want to go on a rant here - but there's another thing that's on my mind:
Live Mesh for WM was indeed one of two reasons I wanted to buy a WM phone (the other being .net). But I am glad that I you made the decision easier to switch to android - I can't see anything of value in WP7 (no multitasking, no live mesh, no customizability).
This comment turned out to be longer than I intended.
Just note - I love Live Mesh and somehow I love MSFT there are some really great products out there, but someone at some level screws so many things up (Courier).
To some this up: I really can't switch to live sync (which I used for some time too).
I think instead of making Sync a great product, Microsoft should have focused on making Mesh a great product. Live Desktop combined with the integration into Windows Explorer (through the right click menu, blue folders, and the toolbar that pops up on the right when you open a synced folder) and the notifications in the tray make it very easy to use and several of these features seem to be going away. Now, with the decreased storage, Dropbox seems like a better option, also providing 2 GB with a better UI.
Now, these updates seem to do nothing to fix the greatest problem with Live - LACK OF INTEGRATION. Though, you can access files through SkyDrive now, the SkyDrive interface is a lot clunkier than Live Desktop. Using Live Desktop as a central part of Live from which multiple devices could be synced peer-to-peer or to the cloud along with allowing documents to be opened in Office Web Apps would greatly help the integration problem. Pretty soon, Google will probably have a simple but very easy to use application for syncing - it is the most voted for feature requested - and Microsoft will again be left behind, much like it was with Docs & Spreadsheets. Microsoft has many great web products, but they just don't fit together.
In my opinion, this is a step backwards. I've been using mesh for over a year now, mainly for syncing files to the cloud so I could access them from lab computers without needing to carry around a flash drive.
So, what this "update" means is that I just have to use devices.live.com now instead of mesh.com. Ok, that's no big deal.
Also, my storage has been cut down to 40%. Ok, I was only at about 25%, I'm still fine.
The interface has changed to that of Skydrive. Not positive, as I liked mesh's interface better, but Skydrive is still ok.
The interface is also really sluggish. Maybe just a hiccup from people syncing files to get started with the beta. If not, this will be annoying.
Also, it seems remote access from a browser is also gone? Not really much of a loss, since it required using ActiveX, and that happens to be blocked on the lab computers. But it was still useful a couple of times for other things.
So, the "updates" are a step back, but I can deal with those. But nothing was actually added? That's what it seems like, but it could still be salvageable:
Integrate in Skydrive. It's quite confusing for Sync to call the storage Skydrive, and yet not be able to access the files from Skydrive. I'm sure most computer proficient people can figure out how to access the files, but a lot of users won't.
Integrate Live Office: If you're already using Skydrive's framework, why not integrate Office? This feature would pretty much negate the setbacks of the update, in my opinion. As it stands now, if I work in the library, I'll have to download the file from Sync's Skydrive, then upload the file to Skydrive, work on it there, download the file again, and re-upload to Sync's Skydrive. That seems like a lot of unnecessary steps.
Anyway, hopefully something gets improved before the final release, preferably Skydrive fully integrated or at least Live Office integrated.
Also, I have to agree with whoever else also mentioned this, but why can we not use our live IDs to post on the Windows live blog? You don't even support your own services...
I really hate sounding negative, but so far Live Sync is simply abysmal compared to Live Mesh.
Mesh is a polished, very well thought-out product that integrates seamlessly into Windows Explorer: the Blue Folders with the sidebar; the intuitive interface for handling multiple devices; right click to sync and the way the synced folders reflect on the excellent Live Desktop. Mesh is basically a dream come true.
This on the other hand feels like a step back. The interface is limited and simplistic and it doesn't really integrate into Windows Explorer at all: it's just another program I have to handle at all. When a folder is synced, I get no visual cues from the folder indicating that the folder is indeed synced. Nor do I get info within the folder regarding new files that have been synced from other devices. Mesh handles all this stupendously. This is just bare bones and primitive. Not to mention the awful, horrid, unintuitive Windows Live website which for some reason reminds me more of MySpace than a professional website, as opposed to Mesh's attractive and minimalistic Live Desktop.
I am truly baffled by the choice of tossing Mesh into the garbage and keeping Sync instead of the other way around. And I'm specially concerned by the fact that Mesh must be uninstalled for the Live Essentials installer to run at all. It's like you know Sync is inferior to Mesh and thus don't want us to compare them side by side.
Hopefully Sync will grow into something better than Mesh, but this new Sync Beta is dissapointing to say the least.
Just want to echo comments made by many others.
I've been using Live Mesh for quite a long time now and currently have a little more than 3GB synced to the cloud and on 3 computers. At the moment I can't transition to Live Sync without moving some stuff to P2P only, but am hesitant to do that. I really wish you would grandfather users of Live Mesh and let us continue to use 5GB.
I also have a question: how well will P2P syncing work if the different computers I work on are not usually turned on at the same time? Say I work on a document at home in the evening and my home PC is sleeping when I get to work the next morning and turn on my office PC, my documents won't sync, correct?
One more thing: at work we are still stuck on XP. I can understand that the rest of the Live Essentials programs require Vista or 7, but having the same requirement for Live Sync is a short-sighted move.
At the moment I must agree with others that Live Mesh remains a far superior choice and that Live Sync is a step backwards in terms of functionality.
By the way, is it me or is it not possible to add a file to devices.live.com and have it sync back to my computer? Am I missing something? Let's say I'm at a friend's computer and I'm working on a file and I just want to quickly add it to one of my synced folders via web. Is that not possible?
Mesh handles this beautifully. I can just drag and drop files to the Live Desktop (even create folders) and these folders will automatically sync back to my desktop when I get back home.
Apparently there's no way to do this with Live Sync and devices.live.com.
I have some folders stored on my Mesh, but not syncing with anything. Will the files from our Mesh accounts be automatically transferred, or will we have to download them from Mesh before we uninstall it? Also, if we do uninstall it, will we have to reinstall it to download our files?
Also, will Sync be integrated with Office WebApps, so that office files can be edited online?
One of the reasons for dropping Live Desktop might have been compatibility. Since Live Desktop requires ActiveX and doesn't work with certain browsers and operating systems, perhaps the SkyDrive interface could be used as a fallback option - but Live Desktop is the superior interface.
Also, one more thing that would be nice to have integrated, as well (I think this is in at least one of the Live products, but was missing in Mesh, as a far as I know): versioning. Maybe versioning everything is unrealistic for storage on the servers, but at least documents that have been recently modified (last month) would be a useful feature. Perhaps, a commercial version could extend this to unlimited versioning with greater storage and could be used by development teams in place of repositories and viewers like Subversion and Trac. Maybe even integration with Visual Studio down the road.
i have to agree with many of the others - live mesh is/was an amazing product and ill definitely be sticking with it as long as possible (and even then its replacement may end up being a msft competitor). the primary reason has to be the 2GB limit. i had been looking forward to this announcement based on the belief that live mesh would gain from the 25GB skydrive size. RIP Live Mesh!
Also wanted to add that one of the few times I was able to get an iPhone user to go WOW! was when I showed him Mesh on my WinMo phone. After taking a picture with my phone, it automatically populated on my laptop within seconds. He thought that was pretty cool. You really, really need to rethink dropping support for your phones.
I have been relying on Live Mesh for availability of my data across (mobile) devices and implicit backup outside my home ever since its technical preview stage. Of course I installed the new Live Essentials including Live Sync. I am shocked! I thought the 2GB was a mistake, but learned in practice that it really stopped there. I was half way the 5 GB of Mesh and expected to be able to use the 25 GB of Skydrive. I am forced to revert to Mesh now and seek another solution if the storage limit on Sync is not raised.
On top... I feel that both online and device functionality and interface of Sync are not nearly as good as Mesh's. What happened to Live Desktop? I do not feel Live Office to be a complete replacement yet, as those files do not sync with my devices and it is limited to Office files.
When starting to use Mesh I gave feedback that I feel to be important. To many different storage services, so I expected them to blend into 1. Live Office and Live Sync are 2 different services still; Live Office based on Sharepoint and Live Sync based on Groove technologies. I feel that at least it should be possible to use Office Web Apps with Live Sync.
Also, the majority of people on this planet does not own devices, not even one. They have to rely on cyber cafés and school devices. They cannot have files, favorites, templates, signatures and so on on devices they own. Yes, now we have Live Office, but what about their Favorites, templates, signatures...
I own 2 desktops and a netbook, but this doesn't mean that I never have to use someone else's device; employer, school, cyber café. I use Live Mail on my own devices. How am I supposed to be able to use my Favorites, signatures, templates everywhere and keep them in sync? The LIve Sync service you offer for this does not accommodate my needs.
To wrap up... Microsoft advocates the seamless user experience, I feel there is a lot more to improve. Please move faster and/or make bigger steps.
I am totally disappointed with Sync. I installed on my computer and everything was fine. I was shocked at the lower limit but I can deal with it. What I can't deal with is that when I came to work and installed everything, Sync can't connect to the network. I work at a goverment institution and Mesh went through the firewalls just fine. I NEED THIS!. I was a happy camper but this has totally blown my day. I can't now even remote connect to my computer.
An excellent thread of Issues has been started over here:
Please register your comments there if you agree...
I stand corrected by razorback130. It seems it is not possible to add files to devices.live.com, meaning that Live Sync cannot fulfill the main purpose I used Mesh for. I'm rather regretting upgrading... Is adding files to Sync's storage from a browser planned, or should I go looking for other syncing services?
Just to add to my earlier post:
Something I take for granted (that's because it's so beautifully intuitive) is the Windows Explorer integration with Mesh. The blue folders were a stroke of genius, as was the sidebar. If I want to add a synced folder to my current PC - simple. If I want to check latest file changes - simple. And if I want to quickly scan which folders are syncing - simple. A master-class in UI work, that really should not be thrown away.
Well, good thing you're keeping the Mesh for another few months. That gives us time to start searching for alternatives. 2GB is not an viable option for me, as I keep my work folders (4GB+) synced across my laptop and home pc and occasionally my phone (WinMo 6.5). Pity I won't be able to use new Live Essentials thought.
Yet another time Microsoft is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Funny thing about all of these comments... Microsoft is 'combining' Live Mesh and Live Sync in part due to some confusion in the marketplace about which service some users should go for. But these comments clearly indicate that the two sets of features are unique. I for one am quite happy with the old Live Sync - especially since it supports my XP netbook - and have no need for storage in the cloud. The XP supported version of Live Sync was perfect for me - no need for remote (already use OpenSSH for that), no need for clould storage (have a home server that is always on), and supported by my XP, Vista and Win7 systems.
Is the old version of the Live Sync service actually going to be terminated or will it continue to be supported independently of the new version?
Does anyone have any experience with XP-compatible Live Sync alternatives like rsync/unison/deltacopy?
I love Live Mesh, also looking forward to Live Sync. But, when I was trying the beta:
- You uninstalled my Live Mesh, that's fine, but I can no longer have my data synced with my existing PCs;
- You leave all my data in Live Mesh folder, and did not transfer these data to my skydrive. You want me to upload the 5GB data myself again?
- I have quite a lot devices added to Live Mesh, can't you simply import these device settings to skydrive? You want me to add them back one by one?
It's a shame that Windows XP isn't supported by Live Sync. I have a few PC running XP and my laptop (and my daughters laptop) running Windows 7.
There's no way i'm going to quit XP, I will quit Live Sync long before that. As a matter of fact, I have to start looking for a Live Mesh replacement right now (as I had before).
Sorry, but I feel that not having XP support doesn't make any sense, at least for the features that are available right now in Live Mesh, like remote desktop.
To clarify my earlier question: Is Windows Home Server compatible with the new Sync, or do we have to wait for Vail?
What do you mean no more remote control of my work XP workstation? This makes me less than happy. Work started planning its migration to Windows 7 while it was in beta, but when the company has more workstations than the average-size suburb, migration takes time.
And then there are my parents and my wife's parents. They've got at least four XP laptops they continue to use, and thus I support, because they do not like Windows 7. (Hey, I did my best marketing of the improvements in Win7 over XP, especially where wireless networking is concerned, but their reception of Win 7 was and remains rather chilly.)
Live Mesh made remote control of all these machines a no-brainer, especially where establishing a secure connection through firewalls, etc. is concerned. I hope I can find something else equally good.
I can see why P2P would negate the need to have as much oline storage......if you were going to leave one PC on all the time. I used to use MS Groove which was a fantastic P2P sync/collaboration tool. I switched to live mesh because it allows me to sync without always having a PC on somewhere (much more environmentally friendly alternative). If live mesh dissapears and live sync is my only opption, I will probably head for dropbox and fire up groove again (one of my machines is a nebook running XP).