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Live Mesh now available for Mac OS X

Cory Bohon

[Editor's Note: Several comments objected to the comparison between Dropbox and Microsoft that implied Dropbox's reputation was less than ideal; we also heard directly from Dropbox founder Arash Ferdowsi on this point. The post has been edited to clarify the sense Cory intended -- while Dropbox's service is well-regarded and its backers are notable, some may feel comfortable with a more-established vendor for cloud storage. Our apologies to Dropbox and its users for the unintentional slight.]

While many Mac users use MobileMe for file synchronization, there are the a few (*raises hand*) who think it's overpriced. Therefore, I have been looking for alternatives. Dropbox is nice, but I wanted more storage, and I wanted it from a reputable company with a longer track record. I had heard about Live Mesh, Microsoft's up and coming synchronization service so I decided to check it out.

While there are plenty of anti-Microsoft Mac users, I tend to like some of their products (i.e. Microsoft Office). Their Live Mesh service just recently came to the Mac platform, and is well built. Once you create/sign-in with your Windows Live ID, you can add new devices for file synchronization, including Macs and PCs (phone support coming soon). To add a Mac to your Mesh account, you'll need to download a small application. This menu bar application will upload your specified folders to Mesh, and keep them in sync.

Two things about the Live Mesh service that I really like are: (1) You have the ability to sync up to 5 GBs of data. (2) You can access your files anywhere with the website. However, you'll be presented with a Windows Vista theme, which can be unfamiliar for some Mac users. Overall, I have really liked using this service, but there are a couple of complaints. While the desktop Mesh client is a menu bar application, the Dock icon remians visible -- I found this annoying. Also, the web service is somewhat buggy, and I had problems deleting some older files. However, if you're looking for a good, cheap solution to MobileMe file synchronization, then you might want to give Mesh a try.

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