Windows Live Sync to be released next month

We told you that Windows Live FolderShare will be rebranded as Windows Live Sync. We also reported that Windows Live Sync will play a part in both Photo Gallery and possibly Toolbar. Today the FolderShare (or Windows Live Sync) team blog officially announced the rebranding and revealed some of the new features and improvements over the original FolderShare, here’s the announcement:

We plan to announce a product called Windows Live Sync. You can think of it as FolderShare 2.0. It’s going to look familiar and offer the same great features, plus:
– More folders and files – sync up to 20 folders with 20,000 files each
– Integration with Windows Live ID – no more extra sign-in stuff to remember
– Integration with the Recycle Bin – no more separate Trash folder to fiddle with
– New client versions for both Windows and Mac
– Unicode support – sync files in other languages

Existing FolderShare users should also take note of the following:

When Sync releases, FolderShare goes into retirement. That means your FolderShare software will stop working and will ask you to upgrade to Sync. Once you do, Sync will automatically rebuild your personal folders. We expect a lot of new users when Sync is released, so if you can’t sign in right away, please give it a little time.

Here’s the part you need to pay attention to: Sync will not be able to rebuild your shared libraries. If you have a lot of shared libraries, you should hop over to the FolderShare website while it’s still available and copy all that information. You’ll need it to rebuild your shared libraries in Sync.

You should also note that the Professional option is being retired with the FolderShare name. Sync has a single offer, which provides free synchronization for up to 20 libraries and 20,000 files. We’ll be working to raise those numbers as our service grows.

The Windows Experience Blog also added that Windows Live Sync is scheduled to go live in December at http://sync.live.com . We should be expecting that the “release candidate” versions of the Windows Live Essentials suite should also be coming soon too, perhaps at the same time as Windows Live Sync (after all, Sync is part of the Essentials suite).