Monday, 1 September 2008

Live Mesh Tech Preview

Following a successful but limited trial (tech preview) , Microsoft have extended Live Mesh to a wider trial, removing the waiting list for US and UK trial user .
Live mesh allows users to create a mesh (or collection of devices) and then synchronize folders across all (or selected) devices. Ensuring that you always have the latest version of a file or folder wherever you connect. At the moment live mesh only supports xp/vista based devices, (mac and mobile devices are planned). The mac client in particular is rumored to very close to completion, one rumor goes as far as saying that a version was recently posted on the Microsoft website, but later removed.

Live desktop is a web based interface that allows you to access your (synchronized) shared files and folders over the internet. You can choose to keep these private or share them with friends. Live desktop also shows you a list of your devices indicating which are currently online, and giving you the ability to remotely control those devices.

Both Live Mesh and Live Desktop are based around not only synchronizations but also security,
and as part of the Microsoft live family integrates with existing Microsoft live accounts.

For those of us with growing number of devices and personal networks or small businesses's its the ideal way to keep you at the centre of your digital world and ensure that the information that matters to you is seamlessly and consistently up to date wherever you happen to be.

I saw this technology demo'ed by Steve Clayton of Microsoft at thinking digital, back in May
and it look fantastic. The tech preview has certainly been no less impressive.

For those of us with both macs and pcs or even just a desktops , laptop and a mobile, it will certainly take the pain out of keeping versions of files consistent across those devices. Add to that the fact that you can remotely take a file from your camera in the office, sync it to your home pc, then remotely control the home pc to push it to a wireless photo frame in your living room, and you'll get an idea of the power of the mesh.

But i can't help wondering if this is all coming a little late. I'm already using on line services for my email, contacts, calendars, bookmarking, and file sharing, this allow me to keep my files online, so they are always up to date and available wherever i connect . So the question for me is, how much of a benefit is it to have this all in one place? and does that merit persuading all my friends that share this data to move from those services that where already using to live mesh?