Windows Live Mesh – your 2.3 million gigabyte hard drive

skydriveWindows Live Mesh reached an important milestone today: it’s now used to connect over 5 million devices.  Over 3 million users are syncing some 2.2 petabytes (1 petabyte = 1024 terabytes, 1 terabyte = 1024 gigabytes), or over 2,306,867.2 gigabytes of storage.  Of course we’re limited to 5gb each, but still that is some impressive capacity.

Dharmesh Mehta posted the stats over at the Inside Windows Live blog, noting as well that there are now some 70 million users of SkyDrive.

Mehta then takes a bit of a poke at Google, saying that “in contrast to those who believe that it’s a cloud-only world”, Microsoft believes that users want a balance between online services and PC based software, listing the tenets of Windows Live:

To deliver this choice, our consumer cloud strategy is focused in three parts:

  1. Offering world-class email and chat services with Hotmail and Messenger that connect to services like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and over 75 other websites around the world
  2. Providing a great platform for others to build on, including Microsoft services like Xbox, Office, and Windows Phone 7
  3. Connecting Windows to the cloud with Windows Live Essentials

Indeed, at least for some GMail users, this has rung true in the past few days as a software update gone wrong wiped out the GMail accounts, and their data, for some 150,000 users.  Google is scrambling to reconstruct the data from tape backups (all their redundant hard drive backup was wiped out by the software update), and in fact something similar happened to Hotmail recently (although the Hotmail problem never affected the data itself, just the Live ID connections to it.  Small consolation for those affected, still).

We still think that the best of Windows Live Mesh is yet to come, when it can offer seamless cloud backup of photos, for example, and SkyDrive provides a client and easily accessible urls to cloud based storage, but for now, congratulations on an impressive milestone, Windows Live!