Service update: new build, new features coming today (0.9.3103.2)

We are delighted to announce the release of our next major update, which will be available later today is live as of now. We’ve added some new features by popular demand, as well as tuned up our performance. We’ve got the juicy details further below.  By default your Live Mesh client will automatically update itself within 24 hours of the new build being posted, but you can always right click the Notifier icon in the system tray and choose to force an immediate update.  We'll update this blog post once the update is available.

The team has also been hard at work on our developer platform. We are on track to share that work with the world at PDC ’08 (Oct 27-30 in Los Angeles.) You can see a few of our sessions on the agenda page, including “Live Platform: New Developer Services and APIs”, “Live Platform: Building Mesh Applications” and “Live Platform: Mesh Services Architecture Deep Dive”. We’ve seen a lot of interest in our platform experience – the “app” that is the face of Live Mesh today. But Live Mesh is fundamentally a developer platform, and our goal is to enable a wide range of applications that build on our relationship directory and communications and synchronization infrastructure. If you haven’t seen Ori’s Channel 9 video on the platform, take a look to see what we’re getting at.

New Features

· Sync Live Mesh folders peer-to-peer only, excluding your Live Desktop. This will make it possible to synch files across your devices (or with devices of other members of a Live Folder) without consuming any storage space or quota in the Live Mesh cloud storage service. For completeness sake, though, we should mention that it’s not a 100% P2P synch – to optimize the synch experience we still use the cloud to store the authoritative metadata for the folder (for example, the file list and change history) and to broker encrypted P2P connections between clients. But the files themselves will not be stored in the cloud. Also, note that only the creator of a Live Mesh folder will have permission to change the cloud synch settings, since all the contents of a Live Mesh folder (no matter which user uploaded them) get charged against the quota of the folder’s creator.  We've got some details on how peer communications and synch work up today on Channel 9.

· File conflicts management on the Live Desktop. Pretty much speaks for itself. The same ability to view and resolve conflicting edits to a file that you’ve had in the Windows client is now available on the Live Desktop. Actually, we think it’s an even better experience, since we took the opportunity to streamline the UX when we implemented it for Live Desktop (we’ll bring the same improvements to the client in the future.)

· Added news events for New Live Mesh folder and Delete Live Mesh folder. We’re continuing to tune the news feed to provide the right set of information you need to keep track of what’s happening across your mesh.


· Improved performance when syncing files peer-to-peer. David and Trevor get into some of the details of where we found room for improvement in today's video.

· Better coalescing for news events. In non-geek speak, that means we’ll do a better job showing you only one news event when a user makes a bunch of changes in quick succession.

· News performance and scale improvements. Faster and better, new and improved, it slices and dices!

Windows Vista User Account Control (UAC) Update

In our last client release, we removed the requirement for UAC to be enabled when running on Vista SP1.  If you originally installed the Live Mesh software with UAC enabled, then got this update and disabled UAC, you might have some issues upgrading.  We'll have an announcement on the forum shortly with details of how to fix.

Last, a technicality for those keeping score at home -- the version number referenced in the title, 0.9.3103.2, is what you'll see in the client software.  The version number in Live Desktop will  be 0.9.3103.3, since we did a little extra work there after the client release was finalized.  Don't worry about the mismatch, this is expected and is the configuration we tested and validated before releasing.

2008-07-14 Update: Excluding Live Desktop from synching a folder is only possible from the Live Desktop itself in this release, we're working on making it an option you can control from any device in your mesh.  But for now, the steps to exclude your Live Mesh Folder from synching with Live Desktop are:

  1. Create a Live Mesh Folder

  2. If you created it from the Live Desktop

    1. Choose to synchronize it with at least one device

    2. Wait until the folder is completely synchronized on that device

  3. Go to the Live Desktop

  4. Right click on the folder and choose “Change sync settings”

  5. Click the drop down arrow for the Live Desktop and choose “Never with this device”

As mentioned above, keep in mind that only the creator of the folder can do this, and once the folder creator disables Live Desktop synch the files will not be available via Live Desktop for any other members of the folder.

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Comments (38)
  1. FYI: the last article in your Atom feed is dated 21 April; the last one in your RSS feed is dated June 18th – neither feed is showing current blog posts (like this one). I’m waiting eagerly for today’s update but I can’t watch the feeds for it!

  2. I love that even though its a Tech Preview, they keep rolling out updates with new features . Especially

  3. MSDN Archive says:

    @ Mary Branscombe

    Thank you for the heads-up on this.  We’ve raised the issue with our internal support team.

  4. Jordan Mills says:

    Oh yeah, this sounds pretty much awesome.  Thanks for all the work.  I’m especilaly looking forward to the forcing peer to peer sync.

  5. Jamie M says:

    No Mac client? 🙁

    And hopefully you’re at work on an iPhone client too?!


  6. Chris says:

    Just grabbed the latest installer from the website but it won’t complete the install?

  7. @Chris — still working out some kinks in the deployment, you jumped the gun 😉  Give us another hour or so…I will post here once I have confirmation that everything is truly up and ready to go.

  8. JP says:


    Am I the only one who thinks strange the fact that you should log to the Live Desktop to undo the synch ?

    I certainly would have prefer to do it in the creation of the file, on the source computer. Now, the synch setting is completly disabled.

    But it is a REALLY good improvement, and a good tool.

    I am looking forward the possibility of throttling the bandwidth used with the tool, and a P2P capability when syncing 2 computer on the same (private) network (using the now current 1Gb Ethernet !!!).

    Keep up the good work !

  9. Bruno says:

    Great, I love what you are doing. Keep up the great work !!!

    CHEERS !

  10. Greg says:

    Thanks for the update, guys. Especially the ability to choose to *not* sync a folder to the cloud. One question, though: it appears the ability to change the cloud sync settings for a folder can only be changed from the Live Desktop? Is this right? If I try to change sync settings using the Windows client, it seems the settings can’t be changed….

  11. Odin says:

    Fantastic updates, I think Mesh is one of the best MSFT services i a long time.

    Now get us the MAC client, with Office for MAC being so much better than office for Vista, I can’t wait to sync my files between my work desktop and my home Mac.

  12. Great work, the P2P implementation is excellent. When can we expect a Windows Mobile client?

  13. Don says:

    Thank you for all the hard work you’ve done on this!  Having the option to do peer-to-peer syncing of files and only keeping the metadata in the cloud makes this thing a lot more useful to me.

    So before we essentially had a 5GB limit.  Is there a limit to the number of files that we can synchronise in total now?

  14. Andy says:

    Any chance of seeing any developer stuff before October?

    Right now, although the Live Mesh app is kinda cool, it’s the developer stuff I’m really interested in.

  15. Yert says:

    Even though I don’t plan on ever owning an iPhone, that seems like a logical platform to support, in addition to Windows and Mobile support.

    Other platforms to support:

    Firefox (possibly via an extension for the Mesh bits? maybe when the APIs are published this will be available via 3rd party addon? or you could write it in house?).

    Linux/BSD support (via Moonlight or Mono perhap? Might be ignorable, but it would be nice to see this… could also go the 3rd party route if/when APIs go out)

  16. The Live Mesh crew have announced a few updates to their CTP – the features I really are about are: You

  17. Rick Huizinga says:

    My folders have stopped syncing since this update was applied…

  18. News says:

    We are delighted to announce the release of our next major update, which will be available later today

  19. Jason says:

    I seem to be having issues with sync since the new update, history is not updated when I add/remove files and they don’t get updated automatically.

    Had to re-create shares to fix sync but history list is still not getting updated.

  20. Okay – these are all fine and dandy (though none of the issues fixed were anything I was dealing with), what we really want is MOBILE!  Any timeframe on the mobile version?  Do you think it will work with Windows Mobile 5?  Or is this just going to be a 6.0 thing?

  21. So I noticed a Live Mesh update being pushed down the other day and didn't think much of it. After

  22. MSDN Archive says:

    @ Don

    There is no limit to the number of files that you can synchronize peer-to-peer (though the number of files that a *single* Live Mesh folder can contain is 100,000).

  23. Mark says:

    When will Mesh be able to drag and drop and do it on a FOLDER level not just a FILE level? It takes forever to add a large content folder.

  24. On the P2P front; is there some kind of limit on whether a folder is available to add to my mesh? I can’t add the Documents folder in my user account, nor the large nested folder inside there I want to P2P sync to my other notebook because when I right-click the Add to mesh menu entry isn’t there. How can I tell which folders will be available to add to my mesh and why? I love Live Mesh because it just works but this non-deterministic folder adding is a really disruptive experience…

  25. MSDN Archive says:

    @ Mary Branscombe

    Currently you cannot have one Live Mesh folder inside another.  If one or more subfolders are already in your mesh, then the option to add the parent folder to the mesh will not appear.  (This sounds like the situation you’re describing.)

    I hope that helps.

  26. MSDN Archive says:

    @ Mark

    Drag-and-drop is a very popular feature request, and we’re working hard to get in as many such requests as we can, as soon as we can.  🙂

    Please note, though, that in the meantime if you install the Live Mesh software, you can then add entire folders to your mesh by right-clicking on the folder and selecting “Add folder to your Live Mesh”.

  27. Peter Henning says:

    I find Mesh to be an extremly usefull tool, great work.

    But I find it somewhat disturbing that more and more Microsoft product teams try to reinvent the wheel rather than collaborating with other teams.

    Is there a particular reason why the Mesh team cannot ask the terminal services team to implement needed changes so the built in Remote Desktop would work over Mesh too?

    I don’t find implementing a video driver to be the best solution more so since RDP is well tested and works great.

    Same thing with Skydrive, Foldershare mess, even sharepoint comes into this. Now to mention the Exchange, Outlook, Live Mail, Hotmail etc mess.

    From outside it looks like MS just can’t make up its mind, and I can’t base my business on a company that seems to jump from one tech to another.

    Anyway I assume a lot of internal politics is involved. Still great work guys on this project, just try to be the glue between other products not reinvent.

    Best regards,


  28. Satish says:

    I am happy with the ease of use Live Mesh and excited about its potential for developers.

    My thoughts and questions

    1. The P2P performance of syncing across computer seem to be slower than Foldershare. I have been using Foldershare for last 2 years. After availbility of Mesh P2P changed to Mesh but it seems slower. Is it because it is syncing with Live Desktop or is is due to beta ?

    2. When I tried syncing across two computers which already were in Sync (due to Foldershare) .. Live Mesh .. deleted the entire folder and recreated again. This is a bit dangerous. Is it supposed to perform like this by design?

    3. When I add a Folder to Mesh it does not give any option in which folder it will be synced on target computer(s). What is the logic for selecting the folders ? ( currently it seems to create folders on desktop). Though the path can be moved later on target computers …how it will work on devices with different folder and drive structures ? Will there be option in future for selecting folders ?

    4. Will Mesh work on servers with Terminal services without much problem. Foldershare seems to have problem as it by default installs itself for all users and when the remote user logs in using Terminal Service the program logs out itself.

  29. Thanks JS, that would explain it. Can you talk a bit about use cases and options for dealing with a folder tree? I have a top-level folder that I want to sync between two PCs P2P, and subsidiary folders that I would like to share with another Mesh user and have available on Live Desktop – am I able to put the top-level folder in the mesh and pick folders within that to share and put on Live Desktop, or does having the top folder in the mesh stop me working with the secondary folders directly? I can see this being a common scenario – what do you think?

    @Peter – Mesh is not only a beta service that will take time to be adopted by other groups in Microsoft but currently Live Mesh is really a demonstrator and test system for building the underlying mesh platform that will be covered at PDC this fall. Once it’s a platform you might see different groups at MS pick it up where it’s suitable, but cloud-based sync is never going to address all problems – and it’s a very different animal from viewing a remote desktop.

  30. Harald says:

    Why is UAC still required for accessing devices via web remote destop???

  31. The Windows Live Mesh preview was broadened this week so you can get an early peek at the device and

  32. Here, There, EVERYWHERE! If you haven’t heard of it Yet.. Then you’re missing on a COOL thing that is

  33. MSDN Archive says:

    @ Joshua Nelson

    I’m afraid we’re not quite ready to say anything more about Live Mesh mobile support at this time.

  34. De Windows Live Mesh preview is vorige week uitgebreid zodat je een idee kunt krijgen bij devices en

  35. MSDN Archive says:

    @ Mary Branscombe

    Today, we have a requirement that you can’t nest Live Mesh Folders.  So if your top level folder is a Live Folder, you can’t make any of its contents into a distinct Live Folder.  We do know that there are some interesting scenarios where this kind of nesting is important, and are looking into how we might be able to support this.

  36. MSDN Archive says:

    @ Satish

    Sorry for the long delay in replying – I wanted to make sure I had good answers for each of your questions. 🙂

    1. There’s no easy answer to this one without knowing the particulars of your situation, but as a general statement we are working on improving sync speed.  For more background on how our P2P system works check out

    2. In a scenario like yours, what we try to do is match up the files that have the same hashes.  This requires the file metadata from the first device that created the Live Mesh folder to be uploaded to the cloud before mapping is attempted on another device.  If you were to map the Live Folder on both devices almost simultaneously you would end up with conflicts, which would explain the folder going away.  Do you recall having conflicts when this happened?

    3. Right now we simply choose the desktop of the user and make sure the name doesn’t conflict with an already existing folder.  If it does, we append a number like "001" to it to make sure the folder name is unique.  We use a relative path based on an environment variable to make sure the folder is placed on the user’s desktop regardless of drive setup.

    4. Currently Live Mesh is not supported on any Windows Server SKUs.  On Windows Client SKUs that have a Terminal Server component (e.g., Windows Vista Ultimate), the two will function normally side-by-side.

  37. Jayson says:

    Is there a roadmap for mesh?  I would like to find out if there will be a way to exclude certain file types from being sync’ed.

    I would like to use mesh for development where I can exclude any of the user specific files and binaries from being sync’ed to other machines.

  38. MSDN Archive says:

    @ Jayson

    Filtered sync is definitely on our list of features to consider, but we don’t have anything to announce yet.

    You may wish to take a look at our PDC website for more information about the kinds of developer ideas we’ll be talking about later this year:


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