Windows Live Sync (Beta)

SyncLogoI decided to install the new beta of Windows Live Essentials, mostly for the new Sync app.  I also got Live Writer, which has the newer Office style ribbon User Interface. (Here’s the Windows Live blog announcing the beta in June. There was a beta refresh last week.)

I’ve been using sync apps for a while now, starting as far back as 2004 (IIRC) with Folder Sync WindowsLiveFolderShareLogo(a company/app which was later purchased by Microsoft).  When Live Mesh appeared, I switched to it, primarily so I could not only sync to other computers, but also to the Mesh Desktop.  This gave me a way to have an off site backup, which I used for my daily working set of files.

The way Sync works, is that you install a client application on the computer, or computers, that you want to synchronize files between.  You set specific folders to sync, and when a file changes in the folder on one of the computers, it will then send the new version to the other computers.  There is not only a client for Windows, but also one for Mac (OS 10.5).

You also get to Sync to Microsoft’s SkyDrive, which is storage space on Microsoft’s servers storage_icon(sometimes referred to as the “cloud”).  You can access the SkyDrive using a web browser, which makes it handy when you want to get to your files but you’re not using one of your computers (say at the library or school or work…).

I’ve been holding off from switching to the new Sync, because the Mesh Desktop has 5gigs of storage, but Sync’s SkyDrive only allows 2gig worth of data to be sync’d (the Live Blog announcement states that 2 gigs covers most people while keeping Microsoft’s costs down to the point where they can offer the service for free).

But, after rebuilding my laptop a little over a week ago, I finally decided to switch rather than install Mesh again.

Since I want to sync more than 2 gigs, I decided to install Sync on my server and a Mac at home.  After installing and designating which folders to sync, I sat back and watched as the different machines all started sending files to each other.  I had quite a few files, so it took some time, but within a couple of hours everything was sync’d up.

Print | posted @ Monday, August 23, 2010 5:02 PM