ActiveWin.com has learned Microsoft has quietly changed the FolderShare beta into a Windows Live Service. Check the website out for additional information. “FolderShareTM allows you to create a private peer-to-peer network that will help you to synchronize files across multiple devices and access or share files with colleagues and friends.”
The fact that it is peer-to-peer will avoid the criticism recently leveled at Google for the multisystem file searching feature of the latest version of the Google desktop which involved transmitting files to Google servers, albeit encrypted.
I also have to observe that like Windows Live Family Safety Settings, this is another niche where there are established players (e.g. Laplink, Avvenu) and the 800 pound gorilla has just arrived to squash them with a presumably free service. At least part of Windows Live seems to be taking on the aspect of a squeeze play on the niche software vendors. If the antitrust regulators in the EU and Korea were originally aroused on behalf of competitive multimedia player and instant messaging vendors, it’s not clear why this won’t be another red flag for them.