Microsoft renames Windows Live Sync, its cloud-syncing service, Windows Live Mesh. The service's cloud storage has been expanded from 2GB to 5GB.
Microsoft has decided that Windows Live Sync, its cloud-syncing service,
will receive a name change-actually, make that a name reversion-to Windows Live
Mesh. In addition, the service will now offer 5GB of free cloud-storage space,
up from 2GB, and the ability to sync hidden files.
The company originally released the beta of Windows Live Sync in June, as
a component of the larger Windows Live Essentials. A combination of Windows
Live Sync and Windows Live Mesh, the application allows users to sync data
between their various PCs via the cloud. But given some additional features due
to roll out when the beta expires, Microsoft evidently felt a name change was
"With the addition of remote access and cloud storage, we understand
that the new program does more than sync files," Allison O'Mahony, principal program manager lead
for Microsoft's Devices & Roaming unit, wrote
in an Aug. 27 posting on The Windows Blog. "So following the beta
period, we'll be using the name Windows Live Mesh going forward, which we feel
best reflects our broader goal of allowing you to access your stuff across your
Windows Live Mesh will permit 5GB of synced cloud storage, up from 2GB. "A
number of customers have asked why we don't allow you to sync up to 25GB, given
that 25GB is the SkyDrive limit," O'Mahony added. "While we merged
Sync and Live Mesh in this release, we did not merge the online storage system
used for Live Mesh with the one used for Office or Photos on SkyDrive. This
means that each system has different storage limits and is optimized for
Windows Live Mesh will also sync hidden files, and list which files are
missing from a synced folder. Memory and CPU storage have supposedly been
optimized during sync activity.
Despite its historical focus on desktop-based software, Microsoft has
repeatedly stated its "all in" strategy for the cloud. In a March 4
speech at the University of Washington,
and again at this summer's Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft CEO
Steve Ballmer insisted that cloud services will occupy an ever-larger portion
of the company's resources.
"There's no question that Microsoft has chosen to embrace that path
together with all of you, and there's no question that there's more to do,"
told the audience during his WPC keynote July 12.
Microsoft's cloud-based initiatives include Azure, its cloud-development
platform. The company also intends to offer more cloud-based IT services to
corporations, via projects such as "Dallas,"
which will supposedly pull together enterprise and cloud data in a way that
allows for more informed business decisions. However, the cloud focus brings
some management challenges for Microsoft.
"When customers put their data into our system," Ballmer said
during his keynote, "when they entrust more and more of their data and
operations to us, there's the need to do a better job on reliability, security,
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.