Over on the Windows Live blog they are talking about the changes to the upcoming wave 4 release of Windows Live Essentials (WLE). During the beta of WLE Microsoft made the decision to merge Live Mesh with Live Sync and keep the Live Sync name. During the beta period there was a lot of feedback both good and bad about this move. A lot of people were upset about the reduction of online storage from 5GB to 2GB.
Good news is that Microsoft has been listening and has made some changes that will appear in the RTM release of WLE. First, Windows Live Sync will be named Windows Live Mesh. Along with the name change is the return of the 5GB storage limit. On top of those great changes we will be seeing better file sync information and the ability to sync hidden files.
I have been using Windows Live Mesh and most recently Windows Live Sync beta and have to say it really makes life easier. I use Live Sync to ensure that my Internet Explorer favorites are available on any computer I use. I also use Live Sync as a “poor man’s backup solution” by having the My Documents folder on my laptop automatically synched with my server at home. My server does hourly snapshots of changes and moves them to a secondary storage system. This ensures that if the hard drive on my laptop fails I can easily recover all of my important documents and presentations instantly.
Having my documents and favorites synced with other computers makes rebuilding a system a breeze. I don’t have to worry about copying all of my files from my computer before formatting. I can just complete my rebuild, install WLE and then let Windows Live Sync restore all of my documents back onto my computer. The great thing about this is I can do it anywhere I have an Internet connection… if I traveling and need to do a rebuild I can without worrying about losing any important files.
Windows Live Sync (soon to be Live Mesh) is a great tool that I can’t live without.