Microsoft Live FolderShare

This week I've installed Microsoft's Live FolderShare on several of my computers and have been extremely pleased with it so far. This program utilizes P2P files-sharing technology that allows you to share any folder on your computer with a folder on any other computer. All documents are synchronized (either automatically or at your discretion) so that duplicate copies are maintained on both computers. All you need is an Internet connection (preferably broadband). Its currently in Beta, and open to the first 10,000 users.

The program has allowed me to overcome two persistent issues I've continuously struggled with over the past couple years. First, I always conducted my document backups by saving files on my school's network drive. While that practice was useful while I'm on campus, I had no means of accessing the files from home. With Foldershare, backups are made automatically when I make a change.

My second issue was with transferring files from my laptop to my office computer and back again. I used to send myself emails or use my thumb drive to transfer these files. The main drawback of this system of transfer was ensuring that the documents I was working with is the latest version. Now, versions are identical on both computers. Any changes on one computer is immediately reflected on the other. I tested this feature by saving a document on my office computer. I then turned to my laptop, which was connected through wirelessly to the same network, logged in, and viewed the shared folder. The document was already there. In less than 15 seconds, the entire word document had been transfered.

While I have tried out the "share with others" option, I'm guessing it works identically. As long as your colleagues have Live FolderShare installed on their computers, you both work on the same document. According to Microsoft
Sharing with friends, co-workers, and family is easy when you add and update files in a shared library. Large files? Not a problem - FolderShare can sync files up to 2 GBs in size. And it works on both Mac and PC.

I'm not sure what will happen if you both try to work on a document at the same time. But hopefully you will receive some sort of message/error if you do.

Microsoft suggests they will try to integrate applications into this FolderShare program in the future. How exactly that will be done, I'm unsure, but very curious to find out. If anyone knows more about this, please let me know.


  1. Interesting idea. I am unlikely to ever have any use for it, but I like the sound of it.

    This sort of good idea is why I get frustrated when ignorant people say Microsoft doesn't inovate.

  2. You may find more use from it if you ever want to share videos, photos, or music with family and friends.

    In general, I agree that Microsoft does far more innovating that many people wish to admit. In this case, do be careful because Microsoft did purchase FolderShare, it was not built from scratch. However, Microsoft expanded its services and functionality quite extensively and plan to do even more.

    And even if Microsoft doesn't innovate, there is still tremendous value in what they do well, namely, marketing inexpensive, easy to use, business friendly applications. Even if one could make an argument that they didn't innovate (a dubious argument at that), there is lots of evidence that Microsoft adds value to applications. Value that did not exist before.

    Not that I'm all pro-Microsoft. Some of their products I detest. And I have heard (unsubstantiated) stories about some questionable business practices. But all in all, I like Microsoft for the same reasons that millions of others have purchased products from them. Because they offer solid products with good features at reasonable prices.

  3. "You may find more use from it if you ever want to share videos, photos, or music with family and friends."

    That is unlikely to ever happen, especially with videos and music. However, I won't rule it out.

    OK, so in this case Microsoft didn't inovate so much as I thought. However, they did innovate the existing service by adding new things. Or at the least improve upon it and that alone is something worth respect.

    Indeed their is tremedous value in what they do. I think a good example of a business friendly application of theirs is Visual Studio. It is a powerful set of tools that is well worth the price. Even the Express Editions are extremely good tools.

  4. Oh, and I am not fully pro-Microsoft either. I think they have branched into too many fields and their core business is suffering as a result. Although Vista isn't so bad as most think, especially since a lot of its initial issue have been fixed through Windows Update and Service pack 1, it suffered due to not having the focus it could have if Microsoft had not branched out so much.

    I cannot think of any products of theirs I detest though. Although I almost never use any of the apps they integrate into Windows. I almost always use third party alternatives like Firefox and Winamp. They are a lot better than the Microsoft bundled apps.