Any time you use two or more computers, you need some way to make sure that you are storing the same information in both of them. Whether it's telephone numbers and appointments or copies of documents and data files, it's essential to have a way to make sure you have the latest versions on all of your computers and computer-like devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cell phones.
For example, if you use one computer in your office and another at home, and maybe you carry a laptop when you travel, you might work on the same report or spreadsheet on all three machines; if a co-worker is contributing to the same project, there might be even more versions of the same document out there someplace. Unless you have a way to coordinate all those versions, you can eventually find yourself working on an out-of-date copy; every
time you add another person to the team, you increase the opportunities for confusion.
Therefore, Windows includes utilities that compare the versions of the same document or other file located on different computers and synchronizes their contents.
This chapter explains how to set up and use the synchronization utilities to keep multiple copies of the same file or document up to date, and how to synchronize data between your computer and a PDA.