Live Mesh

I got an invite to Live Mesh the other day and got it setup on a couple systems to try out and see what it’s all about. I’ve read comments on how Mesh is designed to be a platform to be built upon so I’ve been eager to see what it’s all about. Steve Clayton posted about a short video spot on Mesh that makes it look, well, it looks like Microsoft hired some of the Mac advertisers for a change. While I think it will be a while before things are as simple as their shown I hope Microsoft keeps trying.

Installing Mesh is painless, just need to Add the device and a short download and install later (didn’t even have to click Next & Finish!!!) it’s up and running on the system. I think it’s cool to have the virtual desktop but I’m not sure yet what I’d really want to keep there. While I can think of people I know who would love to store their stuff online easily and be able to access it while traveling without a computer, I tend to have at least one if not more systems with me where ever I go (even got my wife hooked on Windows Mobile!)

The folder sync part seems very similar to FolderShare with a few exceptions. First off it’s great to be able to add a folder to your mesh right from explorer/My Computer. Another plus is the ability to select which devices you want to sync that folder with so you can sync it just to your Live Desktop or just with one or more devices in your mesh. I’m sure it’s just not added yet but I don’t like that you can’t add members as anything other than owner just yet…it seems like there will be more options since the field is a drop down but things like Reader only are missing still. But hey, it’s not even in Beta yet so I’m not complaining!

I’m still looking around to see what, if any, limits there are to the folder sync side of things. I’m hoping that Mesh doesn’t have the same limitations as FolderShare where you’re restricted to files less than 2GB and 10,000 files per folder. For most of the users I have running FolderShare that’s not a problem but at least a dozen of the folders I have well exceed the number of files.

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3 Comments on “Live Mesh”

  1. Brian

    ineteresting post and glad to hear you’re getting to grips with Mesh. A few things to bear in mind that may help

    though it’s similar to FolderShare and SkyDrive at first glance, it’s actually quite different. Foldershare is P2P sharing whereas Mesh is cloud based. Skydrive is cloud based but is really designed as an online sharing mechanism and dones’t have any notion of sync.

    Mesh really make sense when you have more than one device in the “device ring” and saves emailing files to yourself or copying photos you took from your work machine to a home machine for example. When we add mobile, Mac and then things like photo frames I think that’ll make it more obvious.

    another benefit of Mesh is the live desktop so you can access your files anywhere. this is handy if you work remotely or occasionally need access to your files from another machine across the internet.

    personally I just enjoy the “right click” add to mesh scenario which means I can shift my data around by storing it in the cloud and invite others to certain folders. as you noted, there is much more granularity needed there.

    right now it’s limited to 5gb with no limits I know of on file sizes or files in a folder.

    anyway…I suspect you know much of this but the final point is remember this is just one application of Live Mesh. the underlying platform, when made available, will enable lots of cool apps to be built on top. If you get chance, check out Ori Amiga’s Channel 9 video for examples.

    thanks again for playing with mesh!


  2. Brian Says:

    Thanks for the info Steve…I understand this is just a starting point for Mesh and I am really looking forward to some of the things I’ve heard hinted at.

    I’m not sure I see how this is different from FolderShare in regards to the P2P vs. Cloud as the way I see it, I’m still sharing between my devices (exception being the Live Desktop.) Correct me if I’m wrong but if I have a folder setup to sync between multiple devices on my Mesh, it won’t sync unless at least one of those devices is online, hence P2P. I would consider the it syncing with the cloud only when I’m syncin with the Live Desktop. In the end, for users it’s just terminology and they just want it to work so I don’t think it matters too much. It would be great to have an unlimited Live Desktop that I could sync with and then be able to shut off my computer at work at night…not to mention it is the best way to backup my data since I live in hurricane alley.

  3. ni Brian – up to 5gb of your data gets synched to the cloud store so it doesn’t necessarily need one of the machines to be on. you could have machine 1 on and machine 2 off. when you change data on machine 1 in a folder that is in the mesh, it syncs to the cloud. you then turn machine 1 off and machine 2 on and it will sync from the cloud, not from machine 1. this is also why you can logon to your live desktop from a 3rd machine (say in an internet cafe) and access the same data in your cloud store.

    hope this helps explain?


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