The Future of Windows Live FolderShare

By Michael Flanakin @ 4:55 AM :: 1307 Views :: Tools/Utilities :: Digg it!

Windows Live FolderShare + Mesh = Sync

Windows Live FolderShare used to be the most important tool in my arsenal. That changed when Live Mesh was in beta. As soon as I was added to the pre-beta program, FolderShare has been but a mere memory. That decision may have been a questionable one, however. There has been talk about FolderShare being rebranded as Live Sync in the past and the FolderShare team just confirmed it. The bigger picture, however, is that what we now see as "Live Mesh" is only a sample application on top of the Windows Azure platform. The key here is "sample application." I always knew the sync and remote desktop capabilities within Mesh were intended to be a proof of what's possible, but it was never posed as an app that would eventually be dropped. Granted, I'm an early-adopter and am used to a few cuts and bruises, but it would have been nice to see where this was going. Maybe that doesn't matter, tho, because I don't think I'd change anything. Live Mesh is significantly better than FolderShare and I imagine Live Sync won't be much better in its initial incarnation. Soon, however, we'll start seeing Live Sync take over more and more of what Live Mesh has to offer. How long will it take? Only time will tell. I'd like to say 6 months, but the FolderShare team is notoriously slow. The only thing we really have to cling to is that the FolderShare... err, Sync team should be able to take a lot of what Mesh has today. The impression I got was that this was an evolutionary improvement, tho. We'll see what happens next month. Either way, be ready to switch from Mesh to Sync. I'm hoping the team manages to automate that upgrade/migration so it will be relatively transparent. The only problem I see today is the format FolderShare uses during the sync process; however, it sounds like Sync will change all that. Like I said, tho, we'll see...