SkyDrive Isn’t Getting PC-to-PC Syncing

Now, this bit of news will be a bummer to you Live Mesh users out there who are taking advantage of device-to-device syncing: In the upcoming major SkyDrive update that we recently wrote about, Microsoft has no plans to implement this feature when SkyDrive swallows up Mesh. Here’s a comment from SkyDrive team member Mike Torres on the SkyDrive announcement post on Building Windows 8:

We won’t be offering a way to sync between PCs without using the cloud as we’ve found that it adds complexity. Both technical complexity as well as, more importantly, complexity in the overall user model. The SkyDrive model is really quite simple in that it’s “cloud-first” and not “cloud-optional” which means you no longer have to worry about the timing of various PCs being online to sync, or having files that are only available on PCs but not through or mobile devices. Conflicts are far less likely as well since the cloud is always “online”. The fetch feature addresses the need to “get back” to stuff that you haven’t put in SkyDrive yet. There are tradeoffs either way, we realize that, but we decided to focus on a simple model and really work to get that right.

It turns out that Mike Torres, Omar Shahine (the SkyDrive guys), and Steven Sinofsky have all been actively answering the questions of curious users on the original blog post. LiveSide has a list of some of the more important things revealed in the comment thread, including a comment where Mike addresses the difference between Microsoft’s intent with SkyDrive, and a cloud backup solution.

While this is an unfortunate feature omission, the SkyDrive update is still huge, and I look forward to using SkyDrive regularly following the release of the desktop clients.

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Paul Paliath

Paul Paliath is a designer. You should follow me on Twitter here.