As you may know by now, Windows Live Foldershare got released in beta today. Its been a long time coming, Microsoft bought Foldershare back in November 2005. Let’s take a little look at the new version.
Logging into the service online has a rather familiar feel to it:
I’ve definitely seen that look-and-feel somewhere before. Oh yeah, I know where, on Skydrive.
So that’s good news. Clearly there’s some synergy between the two so let’s hope that one day soon we will be able to synchronise files to our Skydrive as well.
I also like the fact that I can now access my various machines’ hard drive from wherever I am in the world in real-time using the remote-access feature.
Of course, that’s assuming that the machines are turned on. If they’re not turned on then I’m a bit stuck which is why synchronisation with Skydrive is so important. Still, I do think this is very cool and the fact that I can setup libraries on remote machines just from the website is commendable. It will be especially useful when I get round to purchasing a Windows Home Server machine. Software+services? You betcha.
If nothing else this ability to remotely access my machines means that I can access my music collection from anywhere in the world which is definitely a good thing. Actually, no I can’t. Apparently there’s a limit on the number of files that can be stored in a library which means that my music collection is off-limits for now.
That’s a downside however. I’m very disappointed to learn that you can’t yet login to Foldershare using your Windows Live ID. As I’ve said many a time before the main reason that I’m such a fan of Windows Live isn’t because any of the services or products are necessarily the best available, its because I can access this plethora of services using the same login. Until today that is, Foldershare is off limits to my Windows Live ID it seems. I’d love to know why this strange decision has been made but in the meantime I have submitted the appropriate feedback on this point. A side issue of not using the Windows Live ID to login to Foldershare is that I can’t choose which of my contacts to share my Foldershare libraries with. Like I said, very very disappointing.
Its actually quite significant that this has been released so recently after MIX08 because as I said last week, I don’t think Windows Live Horizon is too far away. Horizon seems be all about syncing your resources over multiple computers and multiple devices so Foldershare would seem to dovetail quite nicely with that particular offering.