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Microsoft To Kill Its Mesh Sync Service on Feb. 13

Microsoft's Mesh file synchronization service for consumers will come to an end on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.

After that date, "any data on the Mesh cloud, called Mesh synced storage or SkyDrive synced storage, will be removed," according to a letter sent by Microsoft to its Mesh customers. In addition, some sync functions will stop working. Remote connections to PCs using Mesh won't work.

This latter remote PC connection capability was one the benefits of using Mesh over Microsoft's current flagship SkyDrive cloud storage system. Microsoft is urging Mesh users to move to SkyDrive, but only 40 percent have done so, according to a Microsoft blog post. SkyDrive has synchronization capabilities across the whole drive or on individual folders, like Mesh, but SkyDrive doesn't have Mesh's remote connection capability.

One advantage of using Mesh was that it didn't require the use of the cloud to remotely connect to PCs, according to an explanation by veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley. She noted that Windows 7 users who installed the "Windows Essentials" suite of consumer applications found that it automatically removed Mesh from their systems. Microsoft aimed to eliminate its Mesh product because having the two services was just slowing down getting updates to users, according to the company's explanation.

For those consumers still wanting the remote PC connection capability that they are losing with the demise of Mesh, Microsoft recommends using its Remote Desktop Connection tool in Windows or LogMeInPro. However, to use the Remote Desktop Connection tool, users have to have certain editions of Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP, as described in Microsoft's announcement.

Microsoft recommends saving files stored on Mesh to a local computer before the February 13 date, according to its "SkyDrive for Mesh customers" support page. More Mesh details and answers can be found at Microsoft's forum pages here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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