Why do you do this to me, Microsoft?

Microsoft replaces Live Mesh with SkyDrive in Windows bundle

Live Mesh users, read the Windows Essentials 2012 fine print. Microsoft is doing what some had feared in latest services bundle — replacing it with SkyDrive, which still doesn’t offer the same set of features.

via Microsoft replaces Live Mesh with SkyDrive in Windows bundle | Microsoft – CNET News.

Why do you do this to me, Microsoft? 

For years, I have a perfectly working system.  I have 4 main computers I work off.  At work, I have a desktop PC and a laptop.  At home, I have a desktop PC and a Mac Mini.  I use Dropbox to synchronize files that I need at all time, or those that I also need on my portable devices such my iPhone and iPad.  However, there are a large set of files (my Outlook PST files, my OneNote Notebooks, my gazillion video, audio, and picture files, etc.).  These files I do not need all the time, but when I need them, I need them.  For these files, I use Live Mesh to synchronize them between all the machines. 

This has been an awesome system for me.  In particular, the ability to synchronize the OneNote Notebooks have been amazing.  See, OneNote Notebook is awesome in that:

  1. It’s AutoSaved.  you don’t have to explicitly save the notes.  It just happens.
  2. Each Notes section is a separate file.  So if you organize your notebook right most files do not get touched often.  This means the actual file being sync’ed (and thus risk concurrency issue) is small and few in numbers.

Using Live Mesh to synchronize your OneNote Notebook enables the possibility of operating on local drives (ala FAST) while reaping the benefit of file synchronization across different systems.  This has been a crucial part of my productivity (yes, I take a LOT of notes).

Now Microsoft took away Live Mesh and there’s no way to get it back.  Sure if you already have Live Mesh installed it continues to work (for now).  Unfortunately my work laptop just died and I got the replacement today, which means I can not get Live Mesh on this computer anymore.  Now my whole productivity system is broken.  This just sux!!!!

In case you are wondering about the various talks about “you can still get Live Mesh from Windows Live Essentials 2011”, YOU CANNOT!!!!   Windows Live Essentials installer is a wrapper.  It does not actually have the bits in it. When you launch the installer, a configuration file in the cloud is download and that determines what’s available for you to install.  So even if you get the Windows Live Essentials 2011 installer, Live Mesh will not be available to you.  Heck!  Try go to http://devices.live.com (the Live Mesh site) and install the client, you still cannot get the product!!!  AAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!

Spent the whole afternoon looking for another P2P file sharing option.  Unfortunately, most of them are blocked by the corp firewall.  This is going to be really tricky…. 

My only hope is that Microsoft will decide to build P2P into SkyDrive.   Not really holding my breath, though. <sigh> 

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