SkyDrive isn’t really a replacement for Live Mesh

Windows Live Mesh is a remote desktop and file sync affair that works through firewalls – you install the client on the machines you want to communicate and can then connect to them so long as they’re turned on; so far, so PCAnywhere. That it’s free and works well has made it pretty useful in my day-to-day life, so I was surprised that on rebuilding my current PC and downloading the latest Windows Live Essentials (2012 version) the installer made no mention of Live Mesh – it’d disappeared.

Microsoft says that most of what you can do with Live Mesh you can now do with SkyDrive, but that’s pretty disingenuous. The examples they give of ‘how to do this on SkyDrive’ omit the biggest reason a lot of people used it in the first place – remote desktop. There’s just no equivalent in 2012.

Luckily you can still get the Live Essentials 2011 installer from the Microsoft website that does still contain it, but you’ll never be able to upgrade to anything in the 2012 package without it being automatically removed.

Thing is – if they just dropped support for Live Mesh (to the point of actively removing it from your machine when you upgrade), how long will Microsoft realistically keep that 2011 installer going?

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