Wave 4: Windows Live Sync – A First Look

By LiveSide | In News | Posted May 29, 2010 27 comments

Window Live SyncLast week we were fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the Windows Live Essentials Preview website (http://windowslivepreview.com/essentials) as it briefly went online before it got locked out to the public again. We showed you the two Photo Gallery videos that we found, and today we’ll show give you a first look at the new Windows Live Sync. Here’s a screenshot from the Essentials Preview website showing the application:

Windows Live Sync

You can see that Windows Live Sync had been completely revamped, and now includes functionalities from the former Live Mesh, giving you the ability to sync your files directly to the cloud. In fact, when installing the new Windows Live Essentials, it will automatically remove Live Mesh if you have it installed already, and that you will need to set up your folders for syncing again (Live Mesh was, after all, just a beta product).

As shown in the screenshot above, the “Status” screen shows you the folders you have set up to sync. Clicking on “View permissions” will take you to the new Windows Live Devices website where you can select who you want to sync the folders with. Clicking on “Select the devices this folder syncs on” will allow you to select where you want to sync the files in the folder – this includes other computers where you have Windows Live Sync setup, or the new SkyDrive synced storage where you get 2GB of free cloud storage (we’re not sure at this stage whether this 2GB is interchangeable with the 25GB you get from the actual SkyDrive storage itself, but we sure hope we’ll get more storage as times goes on!). Everything else is taken care of automatically, and if you’ve modified some files in your synced folders and your are online, it will sync automatically in the background.

Also notice at the bottom of the screen is the ability to sync Program settings. At the moment, it only supports syncing Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office settings with other computers. For Internet Explorer, this is the replacement of the original favorites sync functionality in Windows Live Toolbar (to be discontinued in Wave 4). For Microsoft Office, you’ll be able to sync your e-mail signatures, styles, and templates that you have set up on your computer, and have them with you on every other computer you have Sync installed. We do expect that other programs might be added in the future (or perhaps an API for this?), but this is potentially a very useful feature.

The new Windows Live Sync also allow remote connections to your computer. Going to the “Remote” screen will let you choose whether you want to allow remote connections to the computer you are at. Once you’ve allowed this functionality, you can connect to this computer using one of the two ways – using Windows Live Sync on another computer, or using the Windows Live Devices website. Here’s a screenshot showing the remote connection using Windows Live Sync in action:

Remote Connection - Connecting

If you’ve tried out Live Mesh before, you’ll notice that this is very similar to the Live Mesh Remote Desktop functionality, in fact, it is based on the same technology as Live Mesh, ported over and integrated into Windows Live Sync:

Remote Connection

You can think of Windows Live Sync as the final version of Live Mesh. If you haven’t tried Live Mesh before, then this is a must-have application for you. You can forget about USB keys or burning DVDs to transfer files between your computers (and with others), as long as you’re connected to the internet, all you need is Windows Live Sync to keep your files in sync, wherever you go.

Posted May 29th, 2010 at 10:58 am
Category: News
Tags: Devices, Sync, Wave 4, Windows Live
  • http://about.me/mackenzieprice mackenziepricee

    2GB? Now now Microsoft…

    Thats a bit tight.

    • http://about.me/mackenzieprice mackenziepricee

      Also,
      Why do they include Outlook but not Windows Live Mail or Writer?

      I am sure the majority of Windows Live users are consumers who are more likely to use Windows Live Mail then Outlook…

      • jtmat

        We will be able to sync more than 2 gb… that is a given. Question is whether the folders you sync will be able to use with the full 25 gb on skydrive and able to take advantage of online office seamlessly.

        Outlook and Live Mail is similar, I’d expect you could use both. Writer? Interesting note, would be nice if you could sync all programs.

        • Tom

          Ummmmmmm yeah… Windows Li mail…. Mails generally stored in the cloud to begin withhhh… >.<

  • bruceberls

    A lot hinges on whether Live Sync can store files online in the Document folders that Office Web Apps use. If so, we can save files on our computer, then edit them online with Office Web Apps, seamlessly. My fear is that Live Sync’s online storage will be walled off from the document folders used by Office Web Apps, even though technically they’re both in Skydrive. Any idea which way it’s going to go?

    • jkth

      They’ll be seperate.

  • http://bettermicrosoft.spaces.live.com Hosein

    Microsoft should unify Windows Live Sync with Microsoft SyncToy and Windows Easy Transfer and Windows Live Mesh client into one unified device/file/setting/account/email/message/etc uploading, syncing, and sharing software application in Windows Live Essentials wave 4, and fully integrate it to the SkyDrive. Also add P2P File Sharing feature to it. Upload, Share, and Sync them between folders, partitions, hard disks, computers, networks, and the Internet (even other file storage and sharing sites)

  • JSYOUNG571

    Everything looks good. I just hate that they are getting rid of the Windows Live toolbar and replacing it with a Bing bar. I feel they could have enhanced the Windows Live toolbar futher. It has been a great addition and a convience for me when I want to look and see what is going on real quick with email, profiles, calendar and photos while I am on another website. OH WELL! maybe it will make a comeback someday and be better and improved. They should have gotten rid of the MSN and Bing bar..they both suck when it comes to Windows Live features.

    • JohnCz

      MSN & Live Toolbars have been dropped in favor of Bing Bar. I expect Bing Bar will see a major update for Windows Live services/tools.

    • http://about.me/mackenzieprice mackenziepricee

      I am waiting for it to get a Bing URL Shortner…

  • TheDarkMelon

    I have used Mesh since a lot, I’m quite impressed by this new update but what’s about the “News” section of Mesh?? I consider it essentials if you collaborate with other people using a shared folder..

  • asdf

    Will it do delta sync? (for truecrypt containers for example)

  • anonymous

    And what will happen to XP users using Live Mesh? Brushed aside like filth and told to “move on” to Windows 7?

    • CKurt

      Well yes… Move on! XP was designed in 1999 and released in 2002… You want to use the newest weels and road equipment and heads up display in your oldtimer… That does not make sence. Get a new chassis first.

    • http://about.me/mackenzieprice mackenziepricee

      You wouldn’t drink 9 year old milk, So why use a 9-year-old operating system?

      • http://macrosofter.wordpress.com/ quikboy

        You might drink 9 year old wine or longer, so why not use a 9-year-old operating system?

        I’m kidding. But just because it’s a 9-year old operating system, doesn’t mean some of us didn’t buy a computer with one in 2005 and expected it to still get full backing from Microosft in the coming years after it. It’s barely been 5 years since then. I’d have expected Microsoft to give XP users one real last bang before they leave us off, rather than the Wave 3 junk and IE8.

        • Tom

          No. :)

  • conan

    Then what will happen to Mac users using Mesh?

  • Chris

    Any word on a mobile syncing? We know that ActiveSync will handle mail, contacts & calendar for Mobile 7 (will that also work for Mobile 6/6.5 devices?), and there’s MyPhone for backing up, but I’ve long used the Mesh Mobile client for moving files from my desktop to my mobile OTA. Or for syncing photos from my mobile down to my desktop folder. If the MyPhone client gets absorbed into SkyDrive will the photos sync/backup also show up in Windows Live Photo Gallery desktop application? I keep coming up with more questions.

    • Chris

      Oh, as for Mac versions of Windows Live Essentials, as mentioned here (http://www.liveside.net/main/archive/2010/04/25/so-what-is-the-deal-with-windows-live-for-macs.aspx) I’d certainly love to hear more about that since I’m a full time Mac user now, but my stuff is still on Windows Live. Plug-ins would be handy for iPhoto to manage online albums. But Messenger for Mac 8 is the pits. Messenger 8 *finally* introduces voice/video chat, but nothing else. It’s like living in 2001.

  • jtmat

    Sync is the service I’m waiting to use.

    Until we get access to the beta or have a true “review”, I think we will all have more questions than answers with Wave 4.

    Live sync has made my life much easier. Mesh is great as well, but still in beta and not able to use with sync. I hope it is better than office apps on skydrive I used the other day. Finally had to use the Excel function and it was not a good experience. Looks good on the outside, but once in for real work, google apps is definitely a better experience, and I don’t care for google’s product.

    A great sync product would include everything of live sync with everything of mesh, IMO. Being able to sync directly with the available 24 gb and my documents folder on skydrive.

  • jtmat

    Everyone better have good backups… if one area is corrupted, all computers will see the same issue. Wonder when we will see the first virus to take advantage of this new technology. lol (Somebody had to ask.)

  • nikhil85

    Can we use Sync b/w PC and Mobile.!!

  • bernard

    It’s about time for Microsoft to create a premium Windows Live service package for a yearly fee that includes significant Sync/Skydrive storage (30-50GB). This should be coupled with Hotmail Plus and a completely ad-free experience across all of Windows Live.

  • http://twitter.com/davidhoush David Housh

    I agree with you Bernard. I have wanted MSFT to do this for sometime now. It would make sense anyways.

  • http://www.esolutions.net John Duncan

    Anyone know about plans for syncing with Windows Mobile 7? I’m particularly interested in real time email push functionality from the desktop to a Windows Mobile device.