FolderShare, Microsoft’s invaluable free utility for syncing and sharing folders among multiple computers, has gotten a long overdue upgrade.

foldershare Foldershare starts with a free account – just a login name and a password. It is not yet tied in to the “Windows Live ID” that Microsoft uses for other services; that will likely happen at some point. A small bit of software runs on your computer while you’re logged in.

The software can then sync a folder or a group of folders with another computer – your own or someone you know. Whenever a file is added or changed on either computer, FolderShare updates the file on the other computers.

That’s surprisingly powerful! It’s a simple concept but it gets more interesting as you think about it. Here are some notes about FolderShare with more details about how the program works.

Most of the setup is done at the FolderShare web site, which has been completely redesigned. It’s got the same layout now as the Windows Live Skydrive service for online storage of files (which also might be integrated with FolderShare in the future).

An interesting additional feature of FolderShare – from the web site you can connect to any of your computers running the software and download any file from that computer, including files from mapped network drives.

Current FolderShare users can get updated software by going to the web site and clicking in the upper right corner on “Install FolderShare.” I don’t see any huge changes in the updated software but the menus are reorganized and clarified. Reportedly performance on Windows Vista is improved and the back end servers have been beefed up.

The FolderShare team promises to keep a new blog running with regular updates; here’s the post about this upgrade. This forum is also a good place to check for news and troubleshooting.

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