Will You Get Caught Up in the Microsoft Live Mesh?

Over the next few posts I’ll explorer the trojan horse that (I believe) Microsoft is building, including in your living room, your car and on other platforms.

I’m sure many posts have been written about Mesh but I hope to succinctly tell you what direction this could all be going in, as I see it.

I’ve framed this as a trojan horse because Mesh appears to be aimed at the consumer or at least the mobile/home workers.  What it could turn into is a great online strategy for Microsoft and a real move to subscription based Windows everywhere!

It has been touted as a great platform for developers but my current feeling is that there will only be a handful of killer apps that can be built on top of this platform as currently explained, and Microsoft could well build those itself.  Keep ready this series for the real ISV opportunity…

Mesh was mentioned briefly at the Mix conference, which was a mostly empty delivery of news and rehash of Silverlight news.  See the Silverlight tag on this blog for a recap.  Announcing Mesh after the Mix may have been a timeline slip, or it may not matter since access to Mesh previews has been heavily limited.  Perhaps Microsoft has learned to temper excitement to new ideas… or the timeline slipped…

As currently explained Microsoft Mesh seems to approximate to FolderShare + FeedSync + Remote Desktop + Live Core Services.

Conceptually it’s a set of cloud-based management for shared folders, device membership and a central activity news feed.  XP and Vista machines can join your mesh (by installing components on each desktop – with support for other devices coming later), but your mesh starts with one special device up front – a web-based Live Desktop that has 5GB of storage – I’ll come back to this in subsequent posts, but for now think of it as virtual storage only (like Microsoft SkyDrive) with a Explorer-like web interface.  The cloud maintains information about notional ‘meshed’ folders that are made real on one or more real device file system and/or the web desktop’s 5GB.  A share appears on each device (selected for share) as a folder positioned in the file system by the user.

So, once you have devices in a mesh and folders appearing on devices you can start to work on your files on one computer and then pick up that work on another computer.  If that’s not good enough or you didn’t put a file into a ‘meshed’ folder then you can remote desktop (with addition of some NAT traversal goodness) to a device to place a file into a ‘meshed’ folder.

This is all very well if you computer is not in power-save, the file is not exclusively locked syncing is up to date, and the internet connection is available for syncing,

Got the idea?  No? Check out mesh.com for an introduction at this time.

Read on to more posts in this series


One thought on “Will You Get Caught Up in the Microsoft Live Mesh?

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