Live Mesh is obviously not new, it was available since the spring, albeit barely live then. In the meantime it improved, can actually be installed and runs more or less flawlessly. In fact after the initial hassles I’ve installed it on three computers, and am using it as a replacement for my previous favourite, FolderShare.
The writing has been on the wall for FolderShare for a while: outages, failures, less reliability (never synched orphan placeholder files): why would Microsoft maintain this when they are building out the new Live Mesh services?
But today Microsoft announced the replacement for FolderShare, and it’s not Live Mesh: it’s something else called Live Sync. Why bother? We already have Mesh, it’s good enough. Yes, I know, Mesh has – and will have – a lot more services, but a subset of its functionality can do what Sync will – unleashing yet another product and brand only leads to confusion.
But then again, that’s nothing new. Remember the MSN / Live confusion? The 3 competing Messenger versions at a time… let alone countless Office and Windows flavors? Confusing customers is deep in Microsoft’s DNA.