Last night Ray Ozzie, the inheritor of Bill Gates’ title of Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect, put his stamp on Microsoft’s future roadmap by unveiling the long awaited plans for what is being called Live Mesh.
There is much we still don’t know about Live Mesh, and I’m sure in the next few months we’ll learn quite a bit as The Mesh moves from private preview to larger beta testing, but here is what we know now.
Live Mesh is a new Windows Live platform for syncing files, and soon applicatinos as well, across different devices. At first glance you might think that this is just another syncing method, but it promises to be so much more.
Essentially you set up a virtual desktop online. You then connect different devices to it and move any data into a Mesh folder on that virtual desktop and it is instantly available across all devices. Naturally the preview and, I imagine the beta, is only available for Windows platforms right now, but a Mac Client is promised for the future as well. Of course there is a web interface for this which makes those platform agnosticians among us a little happier. A mobile verison is also promised for this year. The vision is that any device from comptuers to handhelds, to the Xbox, to digital picture frames could eventually be connected.
There is also a social network component built into this as well (like everything these days) including a Facebook like news feed. Because of the use of RSS and ATOM, the Mesh Operating Environment will create a url for jsut about anything making it available for subscriptions in any number of other tools.
This is just a quick summary of things I’ve learned in reading about this and I’m sure there is much, much more. But here’s an analogy from my recent experience. I’ve been using (and loving) the new EverNote Beta that allows me to sync and have my data available across all the platforms I use. Live Mesh promises much more than that certainly, but what I enjoy most is the freedom that EverNote gives me when I’m mobile to grab whatever I need on whatever device I have. Live Mesh looks like it will not only offer me that kind of mobile freedom, but much more as well. The opportunites it offers to developers will also have an amazing impact on how we work on our devices and in the cloud.
Here’s a link to the Mesh Team’s blog.