The Future of Windows Live Mesh with SkyDrive Integration


future_of_windows_live_mesh

Recently I received a email from Microsoft about the future of Windows Live Mesh. The literal bold message says that Mesh will retire on February 13, 2013. The following is the gist of the message.

As a result, we will retire Mesh on February 13, 2013. After this date, some Mesh functions, such as remote desktop and peer to peer sync, will no longer be available and any data on the Mesh cloud, called Mesh synced storage or SkyDrive synced storage, will be removed. The folders you synced with Mesh will stop syncing, and you will not be able to connect to your PCs remotely using Mesh.

The mail also details links on how to integrate Windows Live Mesh with SkyDrive. 

If you are new to Cloud Computing and Windows 7 cloud services, first you need to understand the basics. Recently with the introduction of official SkyDrive desktop client and app for Windows 8, Microsoft is working on the competition regarding Cloud and Online storage.

So after Feb 13th, remote desktop and peer-to-peer syncing will stop working. Earlier folders you synced to online storage were called “Mesh synced storage” or “SkyDrive synced storage”. These will be no longer available through Mesh or devices.live.com, but copies on your computer will not be affected.

As you can observe from the recent tendencies of Microsoft, it is pushing its customers towards SkyDrive for cloud services. So, the first most thing that is important before you loose your Mesh access is to save copies of your online Mesh files. But if you are already syncing files between your computer and Mesh online storage, by running Mesh on your computer, the latest versions are already on your computer.

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But for certain aspects, if you have stopped syncing or uninstalled Mesh on your computer, then you need to follow these steps to download your online files in “Mesh synced storage”.

    1. Go to the Devices website.
Message for Windows Live Mesh customers

You will be greeted with a message from Microsoft about the closing of Windows Live Mesh. If you click “Learn about upgrading to SkyDrive” you can know the various integration features of Windows Live Mesh with SkyDrive. But for now, you can just click “Ignore for now”.

2.    Click View synced folders.

view_synced_folders_in_windows_live_mesh

3.    Click a folder to view its contents.

folders_in_windows_live_mesh

4.    Click each file to download it.

How to Integrate Windows Live Mesh tasks with SkyDrive?

If you are new to SkyDrive, it would be little confusing to perform the old Windows Live Mesh tasks. So Microsoft has come out with certain instructions on how perform the same using SkyDrive. This infographic helps you to understand better.

windows_live_mesh_tasks_with_skydrive

[Source : windows.microsoft.com]

The company’s reason for moving to SkyDrive as its cloud storage option is simple. It says that there are now “over 200 million people that have used SkyDrive” while Windows Live Mesh now has only “less than 25000 active users”. Also Microsoft has been abreast with changes by bringing in some of Mesh features over to SkyDrive over recent months. Furthermore, SkyDrive is also deeply integrated into Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone8 and the new Office 2013, courtesy of the service’s APIs.

Windows Live Mesh was pushed by Microsoft during the Windows 7’s active lifetime through its free Windows Live Essentials suite. Live Mesh “was” a PC-to-PC-to-cloud folder sync service like Dropbox on steroids. It lets you sync unlimited number of folders between PCs, each of which can exist on different locations on the hard-drive of each synced computer.  It also allows you an online storage of 5GB to the cloud and also provided some ubiquitous services like remote PC access and PC-to-PC settings sync for IE and Microsoft Office only.

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The free VPN option (LogMeIn Hamachi) which can be used to migrate from Live Mesh to SkyDrive is no longer free for individuals. LogMeIn is still an inexpensive deal. For just $29 per year, you can connect up to 32 computers. But if you are thinking “not-to-pay”, then any free VPN solution is worth trying out.

Windows Live Mesh and SkyDrive

Though its sad to see Windows Live Mesh being strolled out to dust, the upcoming features in SkyDrive and its integration in Windows 8, iPhone, Android and Xbox have made things lucrative. So be beware of Feb 13th and be realistic to download your Mesh files and sync with your SkyDrive folder.

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