As the new Windows Live prepares to launch, let’s review what’s really being offered here in terms of cloud storage. With the new Windows Live offering, storage space isn’t isolated within each individual service. Instead, you’ll get 25 GB of free online storage that will span across both Windows Live Photos and Windows Live SkyDrive combined. That space is shared by both services for storing your files and photos in the cloud. The only storage that is separate is that which comes with Windows Live Hotmail. With Hotmail, storage begins at 5 GB when you sign up for a new account and then grows a little each month as you reach the limit. What that means is that, right off the bat, a new user to Windows Live gets 30 total GB of free storage when they sign up.
Now if you combine that storage provided by Windows Live with that of Live Mesh, you can grab 5 more gigs of free online storage. Although there’s no limit to the size of files that can be synced via peer-to-peer between computers and mobile devices, the Live Mesh Desktop – an online access point for getting to your files - only provides 5 GB of online storage (for now, that is).
If you’re going to use both services, you may want to come up with a strategy as to where you’re keeping your data – which service holds what? Given the combined 35 GB between Windows Live and Live Mesh, you can practically use these services as an alternative to backing up your computer – well, almost. They may not be as complete as a true online backup which backs up your computer’s system state data, too, but they can definitely help.