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Microsoft to deliver first Live Mesh beta in late April

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After dangling some vague promises about its plans to create seamless social and device “meshes,” Microsoft is set to deliver more details about its mesh-syncrhonization strategy — and deliver its first Live Mesh beta to external testers — later this month.

In a Web 2.0 Expo keynote on April 23 entitled “Get Mesh!,” Amit Mital, who is identified as “General Manager of Live Mesh product at Microsoft,” is set to unveil more of Microsoft’s vision. There are no further details on the Web 2.0 site about Mital’s slated 10-minute appearance, other than the fact that Mital was previously General Manager of Microsoft’s Live Meeting Web conferencing service, as well as BizTalk Server, Microsoft’s integration server.

Microsoft is planning to make available to a private group of external testers a first beta of Live Mesh by the end of this month, according to sources claiming familiarity with Microsoft’s plans. Attendees of Microsoft’s Mix ‘08 conference are expected to be among those invited into the closed beta.

Microsoft officials refused to comment beyond the information that is available on the Web 2.0 site.

Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie presented a high-level overview of Microsoft’s mesh thinking at the Mix ‘08 conference in early March. Other company officials put more meat on the Microsoft mesh bones at that event, explaining that Microsoft’s Synchronization Framework, due to go to manufacturing in the third quarter of this year, would be one of the primary technological underpinnings of Microsoft’s mesh service.

As LiveSide.Net discovered recently, there’s already a “Live Mesh” logo and internal dogfood-testing program for Live Mesh in place.

Right now, the best way to understand where Microsoft is going with mesh is via what it’s doing with Windows Live FolderShare. FolderShare, which is based on technology Microsoft acquired when it bought FolderShare from ByteTaxi in 2005, is designed to allow users to keep their files in sync across their computers, share folders with associates and access files from any computer (or, ultimately, device).

Recently, Tom Kleinpeter, one of the founders of FolderShare — as well as one of the Live Mesh team members — left Microsoft. Kleinpeter didn’t respond to an e-mail I sent to him, asking him in search of more information on how FolderShare fits in with Microsoft’s mesh strategy.

After months of silence, Microsoft released an updated FolderShare beta in early March. A number of testers complained about compatibility problems following the beta release. Some testers also reported frustration over the failure of FolderShare to use Microsoft’s Windows Live ID authentication scheme, as well as the fact that FolderShare is not synchronized with Windows Live SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud-storage service, which also is in beta.

According to sources, Windows Live Mesh will be an amalgamation of FolderShare and SkyDrive and possibly unify those two services, which would provide users with a way to keep their local and cloud-based data in sync.


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One Response to “Microsoft to deliver first Live Mesh beta in late April”

  1. Richard Says:

    Excellent article


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