Earlier this year, Microsoft removed Windows Live Mesh – the file synchronization and remote desktop app – from Windows Essentials 2012 suite of program, replacing it with SkyDrive. The writing was already on the wall. Today, Microsoft confirmed that Windows Live Mesh will be retired in favor of SkyDrive. The day when this is going to happen has been fixed on February 13th, 2013.
Microsoft’s reasoning is plain and simple – there isn’t enough Windows Live Mesh users to justify supporting the product. The company says that at one point there were a few million users but now there are less than 25,000, while there are over 200 million users on SkyDrive many of which were former Live Mesh users. It’s not clear whether those Live Mesh users voluntarily moved to SkyDrive or they were forced by the update on Windows Live Essential. If I were to take a guess, I would pick the latter.
Microsoft is already reaching out to all affected users and if you are one of these loyal Live Mesh user you will get a set of instructions on how to keep their files in sync and alternative options for some of the features they’re still using.
For instance, Microsoft suggests Live Mesh users use Remote Desktop Connection or LogMeIn to remotely access files on a PC, which was one of the real advantage of Live Mesh. But neither of these solutions are quite like Live Mesh. As for selective sync, a prominent feature of Live Mesh, Microsoft couldn’t offer any solution other than reassurance that they are working on it.
Currently, the only true alternative to Windows Live Mesh is Cubby.
Cubby offers all the great features of Windows Live Mesh such as sync any folder on your hard drive, and direct PC to PC sync which is unlimited and doesn’t count against cloud storage limits. With 5GB of free storage upgradable to 25GB with free referrals, Cubby makes an excellent replacement for Windows Live Mesh.