Windows LiveSync Beta and Windows Live Essentials: the free Dropbox!07/28/2010
As some of you out there know, I am very big on user semantics and usability when it comes to computers. After all, it is hard to be productive if we cannot easily manage and interact with our computers. While doing some research, I came across a link to LiveSync Beta. LiveSync is part of the Microsoft's Windows Live Essentials add-on for Windows 7 and OSX Leopard.
LiveSync Beta is the new version of LiveSync (formerly FolderShare). The utility allows access to your PC from anywhere (e.g. remote desktop access). In addition, all the files on the PCs or Macs you use will sync. Your most important desktop files are synced to a cloud with 2GB of cloud storage. Finally, Windows LiveSync Beta facilitates simple document collaboration over the web (e.g. Office Web Apps in SkyDrive). Unfortunately, there is still a limit of 20,000 files per sync relationshp though sync relationships are easier to manage than SyncToy. By setting up Windows LiveSync Beta on my Workstation, I am able to easily sync files to my Mac for backup or use while I'm not at my workstation. LiveSync was very easy to setup and will automatically work from anywhere.
Some of you may remember my post about SyncToy, SyncToy is an indespensible application for performing perodic backups; LiveSync Beta is less about backup and more about sharing (similar to DropBox).
Here are a couple of screenshots I took while setting up folder relationships. The first one is a screenshot of the Windows LiveSync Beta dashboard, the second is a screenshot of setting the devices for a sync relationship for my client's folder.
Adding new devices
There are many other features such as syncing for Microsoft Office, syncing for Internet Explorer, Mail syncing, blogging, photo sharing etc. I did not test adding phone syncing which appears to be a noteworthy feature.
If you are curious about the new Windows Live features check out this blog post by David Treadwell regarding Windows Live Sync Beta. If you try LiveSync Beta, please post your comments on the Dirigo Gray Matter blog.