Microsoft will close Live Mesh and Windows Live Sync next year -- Windows Live Mesh 2011 is the future
Microsoft has informed the users of its beta Live Mesh sync platform that the service is no longer accepting sign-ups and will stop functioning altogether on March 31, 2011. Also, those who want to download Windows Live Sync are being told that this software is no longer available and already installed instances of it will stop synchronizing folders in early 2011. Windows Live Mesh 2011 builds upon these two services' combined legacy and will live on as part of the Windows Live Essentials package.
Confused? Let me try to quickly shed some light on what's behind the names.
Live Mesh beta is a sync-with-the-cloud service, that comes with a "desktop in the cloud," integrates with Microsoft's Skydrive (yet can only use 5GB of its 25 GB of storage) and allows remote access to any of your PCs. Windows Live Sync is a piece of software that syncs folders directly across computers. Windows Live Mesh 2011 basically incorporates the features of both soon-to-be-defunct services and also adds an interesting twist: syncing Internet Explorer Favorites and Microsoft Office settings across computers. The Skydrive storage you can use for Windows Live Mesh 2011 is still only 5GB, but that should suffice for most.
Windows Live Mesh 2011 is available as a free standalone download or as part of Windows Live Essentials. Oh, and one more thing: Windows Live Mesh 2011 works on Macs too. Consistency in branding? Who needs that anyway?