Update on Windows Live Mesh

Windows Live Mesh was first released in beta back in late 2008 and was used to keep files in sync and to remotely access a PC. A lot has changed since 2008—the cloud has become far more ubiquitous and capable of storing larger and larger amounts of data, usage of always-connected mobile devices with minimal on-board storage (smartphones & tablets) has sky-rocketed, and TVs are now connected to the cloud through devices like Xbox 360.


As we’ve discussed in the past, we’ve been working to bring the DNA of Windows Live Mesh together with SkyDrive into a single service, set of apps and developer APIs. So we’ve been making big moves with SkyDrive—taking it from a single website (SkyDrive.com) a year ago, to the world’s most available and versatile cloud storage service with a new HTML5 website and apps for Windows, Windows Phone, Android, iPhone, iPad, and now Xbox 360. And with Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, the new Office and tons of other apps and websites that build on the SkyDrive APIs, your SkyDrive is now deeply integrated into devices and apps in a way that makes saving to the cloud, or using your cloud files, simple and seamless.


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. 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 February 13, 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.


Getting started with SkyDrive

To save your files to SkyDrive, install SkyDrive on your computers and mobile devices. Then, just drag files or folders from your Mesh folders into the SkyDrive folder and they’ll automatically start to sync to the cloud (SkyDrive.com) and to other PCs or Macs where you’ve installed a SkyDrive sync app.


SkyDrive looks and feels and little different than Mesh, but it’s similar in many ways. Here’s how to perform three common Mesh tasks in SkyDrive:


Windows Live Mesh task How to do it using SkyDrive
Automatically sync files across PCs, Macs, and the cloud Drag any file (up to 2 GB) or folder into your SkyDrive folder to sync with the cloud and other PCs or Macs. You get 7 GB of free storage and can buy up to 100 GB more.
Access files on a PC when you’re away Fetch files on any PC running Windows where you’ve installed the SkyDrive desktop app. You can do this from SkyDrive.com
Share folders with others Use SkyDrive.com or the desktop apps to share any file or folder in your SkyDrive. People you share with can access files you share using any browser or device.


Remote desktop

If you don’t just want remote access to your files, but want a full remote desktop experience where you can access files and apps after Mesh is retired, we recommend the following alternatives:

1. Remote Desktop Connection

Already built into Windows PCs, Remote Desktop Connection offers the same functionality that Mesh offered and is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows XP Professional

2. LogMeIn Pro

LogMeIn Pro lets you access your computers (PC and Mac) remotely through the web in HD. You can transfer files, print remotely, or keep computers up to date from any device.
LogMeIn supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Mac OS 10.4 through Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

For additional support, please visit the SkyDrive forums in the Microsoft Community.


Thank you

Finally, we wanted to say thank you to everyone that used Windows Live Mesh and gave us feedback along the way. You’ve been a great help in how we brought Mesh and SkyDrive together, and we look forward to continuing to hear from you as we build the world’s most versatile cloud storage service for you—SkyDrive.


David Kornfield

Product Marketer