Microsoft Adds a P2P Star to the Live Lineup

Microsoft is holding some of its FolderShare futures close to the vest. But the technology will definitely figure in its Windows Live lineup. (Microsoft Watch)

Microsoft put another piece of its Windows Live strategy into place with its announcement Thursday that it had acquired the file synchronization vendor FolderShare.

FolderShare is an online service that lets users synchronize data from multiple computers and access the files through a Web browser.

The FolderShare technology was owned by a subsidiary of the Austin, Texas-based startup ByteTaxi Inc.

The FolderShare purchase comes on the heels of Microsofts announcement earlier this week of a renewed focus on services delivered over the Internet, and the unveiling of two new product families, dubbed "Windows Live" and "Office Live."

Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff said he believes Microsoft acquired FolderShare "in order to provide or enhance the file- and folder-sharing functionality that had already been announced for Windows Live Messenger."

(Windows Live Messenger is the new name for the next release of MSN Messenger.)

"Microsoft plans to incorporate and expand upon FolderShare technology, integrating it across Windows Live services and infrastructure. We also plan to deliver new consumer applications and features in future releases of Windows Live communication and information services," said Adam Sohn, Director of MSN.

However, Microsoft officials declined to say whether or when they will post the FolderShare download on the Windows Live site.

"FolderShare customers will continue to be able to enjoy the service at Weve just acquired FolderShare, so were still determining the next steps for this great technology. That said, we are making some changes as we work on our plans," said Sohn.

In August, prior to the Microsoft acquisition, FolderShares developers took advantage of Microsofts open APIs (application programming interfaces) for Windows Desktop Search to integrate it with FolderSearch, allowing users to search all of their computers in parallel.

"The free Folder Share service has been enhanced to enable remote access to customers files from virtually any browser and to support more folders," said Sohn.

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