Windows Live Mesh users, it's time to migrate to SkyDrive

Back in December of 2012, Microsoft announced that it would be retiring its Windows Live Mesh file syncing technology come February 13, 2013, meaning the remaining 25,000 or so Mesh users would have to migrate to SkyDrive for similar features. The aforementioned date is final, as this is the time when Microsoft will be fully shutting down the service, including remote desktop functionality and file syncing.

Before all this happens, it's advisable that you download all the files that you stored in Windows Live Mesh--on February 13, 2013 they will all be deleted from the cloud. Microsoft notes that if you continued to use Mesh syncing, these files should already be up-to-date on your computer; if not, there are instructions available on how you can download your data.

If you're worried about lost functionality from the switch to SkyDrive, don't fret: basically all the features of Live Mesh are covered by other Microsoft services. SkyDrive takes care of syncing files to the cloud and downloading them in other locations, as well as sharing folders with family and friends. The remote desktop features are covered by Windows' Remote Desktop Connection, or (as Microsoft recommends) LogMeIn Pro.

February 2013 concludes a phase-out period for Live Mesh that started back in February 2012, where Microsoft announced that SkyDrive would be superseding it. In Windows Live Essentials 2012, Microsoft removed the application in favor of the SkyDrive for Windows desktop app, and since then the user base for Mesh has dwindled, making the final death next month not a huge concern.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Wikimedia

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft announces Windows Phone Next App Star contest

Next Story

Windows Phone error confuses itself with a desktop

49 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

The skydrive apps from window 7 will create a folder just like mesh asked to assigned a folder that will sync. The only thing this will not work is, if you are still using an XP. Back to what I said, Mesh will just confused everyone even more. The apps will create a folder and whatever files or movie you put in there will be uploaded to skydrive. The nice thing is, you can delete, create folder just like good old window method and yes including click and drag. The result? It will be sync exactly on Skydrive.

"The remote desktop features are covered by Windows' Remote Desktop Connection"

Not true! RDP isn't available on all editions of Windows, for example, it's on Windows 7, it's available in Windows 7 Pro, but not Windows 7 Home Premium, etc

Mesh allowed you to RDP into any meshed computer!

GreatMarkO said,
"The remote desktop features are covered by Windows' Remote Desktop Connection"

Not true! RDP isn't available on all editions of Windows, for example, it's on Windows 7, it's available in Windows 7 Pro, but not Windows 7 Home Premium, etc

Mesh allowed you to RDP into any meshed computer!

Then use LogMeIn or go find the RDP/Remote desktop hack that enables the functionality on Home and other versions that didn't natively support it.

Or upgrade to Windows 8 and no longer worry about it.

"basically all the features of Live Mesh are covered by other Microsoft services. SkyDrive takes care of syncing files to the cloud and downloading them in other locations, as well as sharing folders with family and friends"

Wrong!!

A) SkyDrive does not let you natively sync ANY folder on your computer (as Mesh does)
B) SkyDrive won't allow you to sync computers directly without going via the "cloud" (as Mesh does)

It does annoy me that Microsoft insist that SkyDrive is just as good/better than Mesh - it present, it quite simply isn't!!

GreatMarkO said,
"basically all the features of Live Mesh are covered by other Microsoft services. SkyDrive takes care of syncing files to the cloud and downloading them in other locations, as well as sharing folders with family and friends"

Wrong!!

A) SkyDrive does not let you natively sync ANY folder on your computer (as Mesh does)
B) SkyDrive won't allow you to sync computers directly without going via the "cloud" (as Mesh does)

It does annoy me that Microsoft insist that SkyDrive is just as good/better than Mesh - it present, it quite simply isn't!!

You can sync ANY folder if you understand Junction/Symbolik Links. In fact it is more functional than Live Mesh.

You cannot 'sync' files PC to PC, but you are given FULL ACCESS to files on EVERY PC you have SkyDrive installed. So why sync and scatter files just to grab a few files you occasionally use, when you can grab all the files you want as you need them.

The SkyDrive PC File access is designed to handle large files and even assist in music and video streaming from PC to PC.

"The world is ending" crap needs to end. If you aren't smart enough to use a product, you shouldn't take time to comment on it. PERIOD.

thenetavenger said,

You can sync ANY folder if you understand Junction/Symbolik Links. In fact it is more functional than Live Mesh.

If you actually read my comment properly, I said that SkyDrive does not let you *NATIVELY* sync ANY folder! - If you read my earlier comment on this page, you'll see I actually mentioned Junction/Symbolic links!!

thenetavenger said,

So why sync and scatter files just to grab a few files you occasionally use, when you can grab all the files you want as you need them.

There are many reasons why you might need to sync files that reside outside of the SkyDrive folder and cannot be simply moved into it. For example, if you're running an IIS or Apache webserver on your system, and want to sync/backup your webpages/sites/apps, etc to another location, the files will be located in C:\Inetpub\wwwroot, or C:\Apache\htdocs, etc - you can't just simply "move" them to you SkyDrive folder!!


thenetavenger said,


"The world is ending" crap needs to end. If you aren't smart enough to use a product, you shouldn't take time to comment on it. PERIOD.


Err... have I at any point claimed the world is ending?! No, I've simply pointed out that SkyDrive is not a direct "like-for-like" replacement for Mesh. Mesh users, like myself, who have used the product for many years now are frustrated that we're loosing what we see as essential functionality that has so far not been incorporated into the SkyDrive client! Perhaps you should take a moment to read actual Mesh user's comments on the subject before jumping in and accusing such people of being too stupid to comment(!)

Unless I'm mistaken, SyncToy can only be used to create "Sync Pairs" i.e. to keep one folder in sync with another. Mesh allowed you to sync one folder to many (i.e. on different devices, etc)

Argghhhhh I'm going to lose the abilities to sync my favorites across to my Win7 machine at work and lose ability to sync my office settings. ARGhhhhh.

cleverclogs said,
Argghhhhh I'm going to lose the abilities to sync my favorites across to my Win7 machine at work and lose ability to sync my office settings. ARGhhhhh.

Just use the Remote File access feature of SkyDrive. This why you don't have to keep unused files Synced and have live access to ALL your FILES on any.

Seriously, go to SkyDrive.com and look at the options on the left. All your PCs running Skydrive are available.

(This is better than the PC to PC Sync in Live Mesh.)

http://windows.microsoft.com/e.../skydrive/fetch-files-pc-ui

The only things that always stopped me to going to skydrive are the absence of pc-to-p sync and the lack of the ability to sync any folder anywhere on the pc... While for the first one can supersede by going through cloud, i cannot think on putting all my files (folders) in the same location in order of syncing them... It's a sort of "put all your files in your desktop" way to do things that has never been the best way... Actually, if you want to sync, let's say, both document and music files, you have to override microsoft own logical division of files... Let's say you want to add now a portable program, or config files of some apps, you have to put all in the same cauldron... Not actually a good way to do things...

Ices_Eyes said,
The only things that always stopped me to going to skydrive are the absence of pc-to-p sync and the lack of the ability to sync any folder anywhere on the pc... While for the first one can supersede by going through cloud, i cannot think on putting all my files (folders) in the same location in order of syncing them... It's a sort of "put all your files in your desktop" way to do things that has never been the best way... Actually, if you want to sync, let's say, both document and music files, you have to override microsoft own logical division of files... Let's say you want to add now a portable program, or config files of some apps, you have to put all in the same cauldron... Not actually a good way to do things...

heres what i do....

make respective folders on SkyDrive, for existing libraries simply add the skydrive folder to the library and set it as default save location (documents, music, pictures etc.), for others just make a new library and follow the above.

i also change the view option on the library to not show in groups.

libraries are ace and let you overcome many issues such as this one.

duddit2 said,

heres what i do....

make respective folders on SkyDrive, for existing libraries simply add the skydrive folder to the library and set it as default save location (documents, music, pictures etc.), for others just make a new library and follow the above.

i also change the view option on the library to not show in groups.

libraries are ace and let you overcome many issues such as this one.

also i found the mesh approach to sync any folder you want could cause issues. Say syncing the documents folder as it is, and having apps store their configs in there (which they shouldn't do but loads still do), and those configs being machine specific - problems.

i think having its own root and using libraries for your explorer usage is the best move going forward.

i have 25GB free and added 50GB for less than £20 a year (nearly a third of the cost for apples iCloud).

all documents, music, pictures, video (only my own phone shot video, i keep my movies off the cloud and on a separate media server at home, far to big), misc files, downloads all synced with skydrive.

But these solutions still force me to put my files on the same location. I mean, all on the same disk, that if you have a different disks/partitions configuration is not affordable... For the problem of the softwares, the ability of skydrive to let you choose what files to share, is a good solution

Ices_Eyes said,
The only things that always stopped me to going to skydrive are the absence of pc-to-p sync and the lack of the ability to sync any folder anywhere on the pc...

You can actually achieve this with SkyDrive through the use of "Symbolic Links" within Windows - but it's a little tricky if you're not familiar with symbolic links/folder junctions

Ices_Eyes said,
But these solutions still force me to put my files on the same location. I mean, all on the same disk, that if you have a different disks/partitions configuration is not affordable... For the problem of the softwares, the ability of skydrive to let you choose what files to share, is a good solution

You can use junctions and symbolic links to accomplish the EXACT functionality you want. Files can be located anywhere, even network locations and still be see as 'inside' the SkyDrive folder AS WELL.

Ok, the symlink solution can help on this matter.
At this point, I realized I have another problem too, yhayt I'm not sure can be overcome with the free storage...
In mesh I have pictures and music folders syncs between mu pcs, and not to the cloud, since I have no needs of that. While my music folder is only a few gb, my pictures folder is about 24gb of data, that would fill my free skydrive space. So, is pictures counted in the skydrive free 25gb, or do them not take part of the amout of storage used?

Ices_Eyes said,
Ok, the symlink solution can help on this matter.
At this point, I realized I have another problem too, yhayt I'm not sure can be overcome with the free storage...
In mesh I have pictures and music folders syncs between mu pcs, and not to the cloud, since I have no needs of that. While my music folder is only a few gb, my pictures folder is about 24gb of data, that would fill my free skydrive space. So, is pictures counted in the skydrive free 25gb, or do them not take part of the amout of storage used?

they're counted, and i agree and direct pc 2 pc sync is needed.

I guess you could always make your own PC to PC synchronization. I like how everyone puts all there services into one company and then blames them for it.

Did you ask if you paid for it?

The Best way is to buy or get a relative inexpensive desktop and make it a server. Install software to connect to other computers and sync through it. Hopefully someone can make a similar service.

DarkMidnight said,
I guess you could always make your own PC to PC synchronization. I like how everyone puts all there services into one company and then blames them for it.

Did you ask if you paid for it?

The Best way is to buy or get a relative inexpensive desktop and make it a server. Install software to connect to other computers and sync through it. Hopefully someone can make a similar service.

That is a lot of work. I have my desktop running at home 24/7. I just have mesh installed on it and my laptop and sync my important files so if anything were to ever happen to the laptop they'd be safe. I just want something to directly replace it.

When users learned Mesh was closing, quite a lot of us switched to an app called "Cubby" (by LogMeIn) which allowed direct pc-to-pc sync without going via the cloud. However, LogMeIn, have now made the silly decision to remove such functionality from their free offering. Cubby users (who switched from Mesh) are now looking primarily at an app called "AeroFS" for pc-to-pc sync, as an alternative to Cubby. However AeroFS A) requires Java, B) presently only allows syncing of one central folder, not any folder as Cubby, and Mesh did

Mesh was awesome. Even with the recent updates Skydrive does not equal what Mesh was for me. So I have left Microsoft cloud storage as I can have no faith in them to not just 'end of life' a product like mesh because they deem it the right thing for them to do. Viva la Dropbox.

margrave said,
Mesh was awesome. Even with the recent updates Skydrive does not equal what Mesh was for me. So I have left Microsoft cloud storage as I can have no faith in them to not just 'end of life' a product like mesh because they deem it the right thing for them to do. Viva la Dropbox.

Cya.

@margrave, the fate of the Mesh product was choreographed for the past 2-3 years. SkyDrive, since its inception, was always intended to supersede Mesh's cloud storage component.

As Nashy said, "cya."

margrave said,
Mesh was awesome. Even with the recent updates Skydrive does not equal what Mesh was for me. So I have left Microsoft cloud storage as I can have no faith in them to not just 'end of life' a product like mesh because they deem it the right thing for them to do. Viva la Dropbox.

I submit that you do not understand all the features of SkyDrive... You have selective sharing, can use junctions to include any location in the SkyDrive section if that is an issue, and you have complete PC to PC file access that bypass SkyDrive storage.

Even though a few mechanisms are different the overall functionality is there.

Save yourself the disdain for SkyDrive, and actually try using it. (Desktop App skydrive.live.com)

Building a compatible federated authentication from an SSO service is rather easy... but the Mesh and SkyDrive teams are different with practically no overlap. Different people, different underlying technology, different infrastructure... heck, even a different way of identifying an asset within the respective clouds.

Besides the SSO auth and MSFT ownership, the 2 services have nothing else in common.

Defcon said,
Really, they can't even migrate files from Mesh cloud to Skydrive (using the same login) automatically?

Skydrive is 25G if not wrong (at least mine is, and i didn't pay for it)

It's still a shame. SkyDrive still doesn't mirror the mesh functionality for the PC-to-PC sync. I'll take that over the remote feature any day. I might not want everything I sync to go to SkyDrive/cloud....
Another good quality app/service, replaced with a half assed one.

Half-assed? SkyDrive is way better than what Mesh was. While I agree, it needs PC-to-PC sync, I'm sure they'll add it in eventually with all the requests for it, just like how they added the selective sync, fetching files and status recently.

j2006 said,
Half-assed? SkyDrive is way better than what Mesh was. While I agree, it needs PC-to-PC sync, I'm sure they'll add it in eventually with all the requests for it, just like how they added the selective sync, fetching files and status recently.

Do you have any idea what Mesh can do? It's a lot more than a simple file sync. Skydrive is nothing in comparison. There is NO excuse for a dumbed down service that doesn't do the same things, and then claim its better.

Defcon said,

Do you have any idea what Mesh can do? It's a lot more than a simple file sync. Skydrive is nothing in comparison. There is NO excuse for a dumbed down service that doesn't do the same things, and then claim its better.

I do know what Mesh is, in fact I was an avid user before switching my workflow to SkyDrive. It does what I want and everything is moving to the cloud, so to me it's better. If it's not to you, then go to official feedback like other users have and request what you want ported over. I already requested PC-to-PC sync which I'm certain they'll implement as they actually listen to their users unlike some of the other teams there and they even said they're working on some exciting things in response to that. So you can't call it a 'dumbed down' service, when it's a new service offering a new workflow and does it in nicer way.

j2006 said,
Half-assed? SkyDrive is way better than what Mesh was. While I agree, it needs PC-to-PC sync, I'm sure they'll add it in eventually with all the requests for it, just like how they added the selective sync, fetching files and status recently.

I've yet to find any feature in SkyDrive that is substantially better than Mesh. For me, pc2pc sync was THE killer feature. Cloud is useless when it's not big enough. :-(

I really don't understand the obsession with PC to PC sync on mesh. It gave you what, 5 gigs of storage? That you can only access from the PCs where it's synced. Why not just save it in the skydrive folder? You know you can add the skydrive folder to libraries, right?

I'm genuinely curious, other than remote login, what purpose does Mesh serve that Skydrive can't?

j2006 said,
I do know what Mesh is, in fact I was an avid user before switching my workflow to SkyDrive. It does what I want and everything is moving to the cloud, so to me it's better. If it's not to you, then go to official feedback like other users have and request what you want ported over. I already requested PC-to-PC sync which I'm certain they'll implement as they actually listen to their users unlike some of the other teams there and they even said they're working on some exciting things in response to that. So you can't call it a 'dumbed down' service, when it's a new service offering a new workflow and does it in nicer way.

They took pc to pc sync out for a reason, which they've stated. It won't be back. So telling someone to go request it shows exactly why you're the sort of person who thinks somehow that Skydrive is better. It's far from it at this point.

siah1214 said,
I really don't understand the obsession with PC to PC sync on mesh. It gave you what, 5 gigs of storage? That you can only access from the PCs where it's synced. Why not just save it in the skydrive folder? You know you can add the skydrive folder to libraries, right?

I'm genuinely curious, other than remote login, what purpose does Mesh serve that Skydrive can't?

There was no storage limit to how much you could sync between PCs, it was just 25,000 files per root folder, but you could have as many root folders as you wanted. I use this service extensively and keep my files totaling larger than the 7GB free with SkyDrive in sync.

siah1214 said,
I really don't understand the obsession with PC to PC sync on mesh. It gave you what, 5 gigs of storage? That you can only access from the PCs where it's synced. Why not just save it in the skydrive folder? You know you can add the skydrive folder to libraries, right?

I'm genuinely curious, other than remote login, what purpose does Mesh serve that Skydrive can't?


SkyDrive by it's policy shouldn't be used for backing up important files and projects. It doesn't have enough storage for anyone to use for that purpose anyway. PC-to-PC sync enables you to easily create your own backup system, even though 25,000 files per root folder limit may be a problem in some cases. But anyway, you could have as many as needed sources of backup synced directly with higher speed and only restricted by your own HDD sizes.
But I agree that it would be better if similar features will be added to Skydrive with ability to have deleted/changed files on the cloud recycle bin with versioning and stuff, even if the files synced only PC-to-PC.

SK[ said,]Does SyncToy not provide the PC to PC functionality your after?

quote from Wiki:
A significant weakness of SyncToy, including the latest release, is that it does not notify the user of conflicts in which both copies of a file have been modified. It simply uses the latest version and overwrites the oldest. Without proper notification, the user could lose important changes on the older version.

also it's quite outdated and it would be better not to have separate tools for similar or connected tasks.

SK[ said,]Does SyncToy not provide the PC to PC functionality your after?

Nope. Sync toy will allow you to keep one folder in sync with another (i.e. a sync pair - "one to one"). Mesh allowed you to keep one folder in sync with many as many other folders on different devices as you want (i.e. "one to many")

J.T.F said,
It's still a shame. SkyDrive still doesn't mirror the mesh functionality for the PC-to-PC sync. I'll take that over the remote feature any day. I might not want everything I sync to go to SkyDrive/cloud....
Another good quality app/service, replaced with a half assed one.

Although you do not have PC to PC Sync, you do have the ability to universally access files on any of your PCs from SkyDrive, WITHOUT having to Sync the files.

This has advantages over Live Mesh, as you maintain access to files not on SkyDrive and not have to utilize bandwidth until you need access to a file.

This feature is overlooked too often.
http://windows.microsoft.com/e.../skydrive/fetch-files-pc-ui

thenetavenger said,

Although you do not have PC to PC Sync, you do have the ability to universally access files on any of your PCs from SkyDrive, WITHOUT having to Sync the files.

This has advantages over Live Mesh, as you maintain access to files not on SkyDrive and not have to utilize bandwidth until you need access to a file.

This feature is overlooked too often.
http://windows.microsoft.com/e.../skydrive/fetch-files-pc-ui


it sure is a good feature, but what if I need a whole bunch of files and folders at the same time? and what if I need them synced and they won't fit even in 25 GB SkyDrive? buying a bigger storage quota isn't convenient and might not help anyway (as some projects libraries may easily exceed 100 GB).