Microsoft Pulls PC-to-PC Sync From Vista

Microsoft is pulling from Windows Vista PC-to-PC Sync, a P2P-based technology for keeping files up-to-date on multiple machines.

June 7, 2006

2 Min Read
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Microsoft confirmed Wednesday that it will yank yet another feature from Windows Vista, this time PC-to-PC Sync, a P2P-based technology for keeping files up-to-date on multiple machines.

"While PC-to-PC Sync is a great feature that improves productivity and collaboration we don't have it at the quality level our customers demand," a company spokesperson said in an e-mail. "As a result the decision was made to remove it from Windows Vista."

Part of a broader synchronization update in Vista -- the operating system will have a prominent Sync Center for all such chores, including synchronizing PCs with servers and mobile -- PC-to-PC Sync was based on peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, and would have let Vista users sync the contents of specialized folders, including the by-default Documents, Pictures, and Music, between multiple PCs on wired or wireless networks.

Analysts characterized the feature as an extension of the old Offline Files technology and the Windows XP SyncToy, with part of the P2P FolderShare utility -- a 2005 acquisition by Microsoft -- thrown in for good measure.

The consumer-oriented PC-to-PC Sync, however, was limited in that it would synchronize files and folders only between machines running Vista, and then apparently only between computers which had the same user account name and password (in other words, between PCs owned and used by the same person).The departure of PC-to-PC Sync comes just days after Microsoft said it was pulling other features from Office 2007 and letting computer makers install the OS sans the company's new XPS electronic document format, all under pressure from Adobe.

As it has in the past, Microsoft cited quality concerns as the reason for the feature's exit. "

"From the beginning, we have made it clear that the top priority for Windows Vista is quality," the spokesperson said. "This is part of the normal beta process as we constantly evaluate, improve and fine tune the features of Windows Vista."

The spokesperson also said that PC-to-PC Sync would be the last feature to be dropped from Vista, and that it hoped to provide it in some fashion down the road.

"Work on it continues and is something we plan to deliver to our customers in the future," the spokesperson concluded.0

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