Live Mesh: the most useful tech from Microsoft in years

14May08

TB Tech Blog - Windows Live Mesh Beta

T. Baker & T. Wilkins

Like many aspiring technology departments, the innovative Windows Live section of the empire that is Microsoft has a ‘Labs’ section for its emerging, yet buggy technologies.

Usually this is the haunt of new, socially networked scientific calculators (seeing as everything must be socially networked these days) but over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been hearing more and more about the still-in-early-beta Windows Live Mesh. Check out the following vid:

Now – how cool is all that? Sure, at the start of the video, it’s just wireless communication (probably on the same network, too) between a Samsung i780 WM6.1 smartphone and a Vista Home Premium [(PRODUCT)RED, of course], then that PC sends the picture taken by Mrs. Glamourous to a wireless photoframe. Not too special. Existing tech does that already.

But in the scene after that is where things get really interesting. Presumably the father-figure of the family is sitting around in some U.S. airport, tapping away on his MacBook Air. And suddenly that image, taken just seconds ago by Mum on her Windows smartphone, appears in the Finder / Quick Look!

And even more interesting, the MacBook Air then starts communicating with a Zune which is notoriously non-Mac supporting.

The video then goes on to show another Windows smartphone, an HTC Touch Dual (suspiciously running what looks to be Windows Mobile 7) wirelessly sending some music to the media player in the daughter’s Volvo C70 – a car not actually equipped with the Microsoft Sync tech required to do this… perhaps it’s coming?

What I want to see, first, is Microsoft Sync come to Australia. It is out in the U.S. on some Ford models, but to see such well-integrated music/media syncing in automobiles truly accepted by consumers, it needs to go global quickly.

However, Windows Live Mesh represents a landmark product for Microsoft. It has opened a big hole in Microsoft’s traditional, closed-source views; it’s the first time that they are so willingly working to develop a solution for the bourgeoning Mac-user market, which they wanted to ignore. When it’s available to everyday consumers, and if it’s marketed right, Live Mesh has the potential to change how we think about technology and social communications.

Personally, I can’t wait.

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