Sunday, June 15, 2008

Live Mesh from Microsoft

One of the other things that I have been playing with of late has been Live Mesh from Microsoft. Basically, you install a client on your PC's and Mobile devices and then nominate which directories on these machines you want sync' d. This means that the information in these folders will be available on all machines. It also means that a copy of the folders is also kept on the Internet so you can access your data from machines that are not part of your Live Mesh.

 

At the moment Live Mesh is still in Tech Preview (which means you have to sign up for a beta) and you only get 5GB of online storage. Given that, from what I have seen so far it is a pretty good product. The installation is simple and nominating your Live Mesh folders is a snap. The Live Mesh client give you information about other machines in you Live Mesh and their status.

 

I find Live Mesh a handy little addition since I need to keep information in certain folders up to date on all my machines. This means I can work on documents in one location and know that if I move somewhere else I can continue to keep working on the same document. Another handy feature is that it provides an automatic backup of your documents. So if the hard disk on one of my machines fails I know my documents are located not only on other machines but also online. All I need to do to get access to them is logon via a web browser or install the Live Mesh client on a new machine and re-sync.

 

Personally, I see this sort of technology playing a bigger and bigger role. We are only now seeing the beginning of 'cloud computing' but mark my words this will be big. Most people really only want access to their 'stuff', they don't care where it is they only want to get to it. They also don't want to have to worry about backing it up and here's where stuff like Live Mesh starts to come into its own. I agree there are issues around privacy but I feel these will soon be overcome with the integration of seamless encryption that means everything in a Live Mesh is automatically encrypted to a level beyond that any government agency can break. At that stage business will start jumping on board but long before consumers are going to lead the way with these sort of products.

 

It is all about having access to your 'stuff' no matter where you are and for me so far Live Mesh is a winner.