Microsoft today revealed its Live Mesh technology preview and promises a platform to seamlessly synchronise folders across any or all of the devices in your mesh - and much more.
Announced at the Web 2.0 Expo by general manager, Amit Mital, Live Mesh aims to "put you at the centre of your digital world, seamlessly connecting you to the people, devices, programs, and information you care about - available wherever you happen to be".
The much-talked about project has remained largely secretive up until now, but the question of "what is Live Mesh?" has finally been answered. Here is Microsoft's official description:
Live Mesh is a “software-plus-services” platform and experience that enables PCs and other devices to “come alive” by making them aware of each other through the Internet, enabling individuals and organisations to manage, access, and share their files and applications seamlessly on the Web and across their world of devices. Live Mesh includes:
- A platform that defines and models a user’s digital relationships between devices, data, applications, and people - made available to developers through an open data model and protocols.
- A cloud service providing an implementation of the platform hosted in Microsoft data centres.
- Software, a client implementation of the platform that enables local applications to run offline and interact seamlessly with the cloud.
- A platform experience that exposes the key benefits of the platform for bringing together a user’s devices, files and applications, and social graph, with news feeds across all of these.
An important aspect of Live Mesh, we feel, is its delivery as a platform. With Microsoft promising an open data model, developers will be able to help Live Mesh grow through the development of additional applications and services.
Of similar importance is Microsoft's plans to make Live Mesh compatible with various systems. At present, only Windows XP and Windows Vista are supported, but Microsoft has made clear its plans to bring Live Mesh to Mac OS X users and its Windows Mobile devices.
Live Mesh as a whole is promising so much that describing the platform and its applications is something best achieved with a video walkthrough. Here is Channel 10's Nic Fillingham providing a hands-on video of Live Mesh:
Right now, the technology preview is available as a closed beta for approximately 10,000 US residents. A larger beta release is planned for later this year and an official release date is as of yet unknown.
With Microsoft's ambition of seamlessly integrating cloud computing and its Windows operating systems, expect to hear a whole lot more on Live Mesh throughout the year.