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News: Microsoft Live Mesh is Out, SkyDrive Is In

What does the impending shut-down of Windows Live Mesh mean for users and their data? Tech Talker discusses transferring your data to Microsoft's new SkyDrive.

By
Eric Escobar,
December 17, 2012

News: Microsoft Live Mesh is Out, SkyDrive Is In

Many Tech Talker listeners and readers will be saddened to learn that Microsoft is shutting down its Windows Live Mesh cloud backup service. However, born out of the ashes comes Windows SkyDrive to take its place.

So what does this mean for you and your data? Well, luckily, not a whole lot. You will need to complete a one-time copy of your data to transfer it from Live Mesh to SkyDrive which is thankfully very easy.

How to Switch from Live Mesh to SkyDrive

First, start by getting acquainted with the SkyDrive program by going to http://www.skydrive.com

From here, log into the system with the same username and password that you used for Windows Live Mesh. From there, you’ll be presented with the following screen which is your dashboard for SkyDrive:

 

 

On the bottom right corner of the page, you will see a Download button, which will install the new SkyDrive program to your computer. It is a pretty small download and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.

During the install process, you will see the following screen. Be sure you know where you want your folder to go. If you’re not sure, then just leave the default setting and click Next.

 

 

The next setup item will allow you to fetch files from your computer. This is a new feature with SkyDrive that will let you to access any file on your computer even if it isn’t on your SkyDrive. The only catch is that the computer you wish to retrieve the files from will also have to be on.

 

 

Once you have SkyDrive installed, the next step is to open up your Live Mesh folder, select all of the contents in that folder, copy the selected files, and then paste them into your new SkyDrive folder.

The files will upload to the cloud and the migration will be complete!

You can uninstall Windows Live Mesh right away, or wait until February 13th when the cloud service will no longer be available.

Why the switch, Microsoft?

The answer is that Microsoft is going for a more streamlined approach and integrating SkyDrive into almost all of its other products. In the long run, this will probably be for the best, but for right now, it’s really annoying to have to make this change manually instead of just an automatic update.

This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has done it this sort of thing, though. Live Mesh was first put into beta in 2008, and since then has been changed several times—first to Live Sync, then to Windows Live Mesh 2011, and now to SkyDrive. Each upgrade has been annoying, but hopefully Microsoft will stick with this program!

There is one downside to this most recent shift to SkyDrive: Users will lose remote desktop capabilities. It’s pretty upsetting to me that they would remove such a great feature. I believe that this will change within the next few months but until then, you another option.

I’ve been using Team Viewer, as I’ve mentioned in my episode on How to Access Your Computer from Anywhere, and it has a similar user-friendly interface and even a phone application.

Here is a link to Microsoft’s announcement:

http://blogs.windows.com/skydrive/b/skydrive/archive/2012/12/13/update-on-windows-live-mesh.aspx

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