Microsoft Retiring Live Mesh but SkyDrive Won't Leave You Hanging

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If you're a fan of Live Mesh and received an email from Microsoft this week about it going away, don't panic: SkyDrive should serve your needs just fine. When Microsoft released the SkyDrive for Windows app, it replicated much of Mesh's core functionality, including syncing files between multiple devices and the cloud using SkyDrive.

In the email,  Microsoft said 40 percent of Mesh users were already using SkyDrive and explained:

Over the years, customers have asked us to bring many of the benefits of SkyDrive – including mobile access and online collaboration – to Windows Live Mesh. We've also received requests for some of the features of Mesh – such as syncing and remote access-to SkyDrive. Bringing together key features of both products into SkyDrive allows us to maintain a single product and deliver all of these benefits to customers. Moving forward, a single product also allows us to quickly deliver more new features to everyone.

And although Microsoft didn't say this straight out, SkyDrive is simply better.

"The interface is cleaner and less confusing. And it syncs much faster than Live Mesh," said TrainSignal instructor and MCT Bill Kulterman of SkyDrive. "SkyDrive also has the added benefit of having apps for Chrome, Android and iOS. I used to use Google Docs quite a bit for this type of thing but not anymore. I loved Live Mesh, but SkyDrive is by far a superior offering."

One issue with SkyDrive that users might see as a negative is that it essentially requires you to create a Microsoft account, but for most people, this should be a small inconvenience for its additional perks, which include 7GB of storage free (two more than Mesh) and the ability to stream video.

Mesh will be retired on February 13, 2013. Until then, Microsoft recommends syncing Mesh files using SkyDrive and offers tips for users here.

To learn how to use SkyDrive, watch this hands-on, how-to video from TrainSignal instructor Heather Ackmann, who like Bill prefers SkyDrive over Live Mesh because of its more intuitive interface, among other pluses:

If you're looking to expand your Microsoft knowledge, check out TrainSignal's suite of Microsoft Training Products.

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Dana Gagnon

Dana Gagnon is the Director of Branded Content at Pluralsight. After working for years in Chicago media, she joined the team in 2012 to continue bringing quality news, tips and more to Pluralsight's audience. Find her @ChicagoDana