Windows Live Mesh is not Live Mesh

  • Buffer
  • Sharebar
  • Buffer
jethro's picture

Is that confusing? So are the backflips and name changes Microsoft have performed in this absolutely bizarre name changing fiasco.

Windows Live Sync iconLets review shall we.

Live Mesh Beta - know to all users by the spinning blue circle, the blue folders in explorer, the 5GB of data and the sometimes very annoying conflict resolution process, (at least it had one) has been in use for the the last few years, and was touted as an awesome mobile, device rich, application development platform. People developed car stereo systems that synched playlists, mobile handsets that synched photos to their family from their phone, and many many people used it to share files and photos both between their friends and family and co workers and their own many devices.

Live Synch Beta has been little known but used as part of the Windows Live process and of more recent times was included in the Windows Live Essentials Beta rollout.

And that's where the messiness started. Microsoft initially announced that they would can the Live Mesh application in favour of Windows Live Synch. This angered many users (myself included) when the specs of Windows Live Synch offered 2GB storage when Live Mesh had had 5GB. I was using 90% of that space.

After a lot of bad press and all sorts of weird rumours it was then announced that Windows Live Synch would be renamed Windows Live Mesh and incorporate the best of Live Synch and Live Mesh.

What this has meant is not what it sounds like. As far as I can tell Windows Live Mesh is Live Synch with a 5GB storage space. None of the Live Mesh Beta features have been retained. There are no blue folders, or explorer extension sidebar. The management of the mesh is all done online except adding new folders.

Synching folders from one machine to another is not as simple as it was - or maybe so simple that its harder f that makes sense. There are not enough options and once its synched you cannot change it. I don't think you can synch a folder into an existing folder and merge the contents - i haven't dared try that yet!

Y2KEMO seems to think its all good and he likes it. I am a little more sceptical. My initial experience with the Live Synch Beta was not good. I set it up on a clients pair of computers to synch the same folder between them both. they ended up with all sorts of permissions errors, duplicate files and a massive spike in internet traffic. I quickly uninstalled it.

As I get through testing this more in some limited non damaging environments with test files that I don't care about i will provide some more details here, including migration paths and processes to follow for existing Live Mesh Beta users.