Microsoft kills off Windows Live Mesh

Valentine's Day massacre planned for Microsoft's once-popular synchronisation service, Windows Live Mesh

Barry Collins
14 Dec 2012

Microsoft has announced plans to close its Windows Live Mesh synchronisation service.

First introduced in 2008, Windows Live Mesh was an instant hit in the PC Pro office, allowing users to synchronise selected folders across different PCs.

Unlike similar services such as Dropbox and Microsoft's own SkyDrive, Live Mesh allowed you to synchronise existing folders, rather than having to drop files into dedicated sharing bins.

There are now less than 25,000 active users of Windows Live Mesh

Despite Live Mesh's popularity - Microsoft's blog says the service was used by a "few million" people at its peak - it always seemed unloved within Microsoft.

In June 2010, Microsoft rolled Live Mesh into another similar product, called Windows Live Sync, with the merged product adopting the Live Sync name. However, just three months later Microsoft had a change of heart and rebranded the service Windows Live Mesh.

However, the writing was on the wall for Live Mesh with the emergence of Microsoft's SkyDrive, which provided many of the same features. SkyDrive is now fully embedded in Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and will soon be appearing on the Xbox console.

Now, Microsoft says too few people are using Live Mesh to keep it going. "With the significant investments in bringing the DNA of Mesh together with SkyDrive, there are now over 200 million people that have used SkyDrive, and more and more are making the move every day," Microsoft's product marketer, David Kornfield, wrote on the SkyDrive blog.

"So while Windows Live Mesh was at one point used by a few million people, most have made the move and there are now less than 25,000 active users of Windows Live Mesh."

"As a result, we’re announcing today that Windows Live Mesh will be officially retired on 13 February 2013, and we’re starting to communicate with the remaining Mesh users and provide a set of instructions on how to keep their files in sync and alternative options for some of the features they’re still using."

The blog provides instructions on how to replicate certain Live Mesh features with SkyDrive, with Microsoft even suggesting LogMeIn Pro as an alternative to the full remote desktop feature offered by Live Mesh.

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