Microsoft unveils 'Live Mesh' strategy

Microsoft unveils 'Live Mesh' strategy

Summary: Chief software architect Ray Ozzie has laid out his vision for how data will be shared between devices and online applications

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Microsoft has unveiled technology which it claims is designed to break down barriers between data on local devices and information hosted online.

In an internal staff memo sent out on Wednesday, Microsoft's chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, detailed the company's vision for Live Mesh, a set of services and platforms that enables PCs and other devices to connect to each other through the internet

Ozzie said there has been an evolution from rudimentary tools, such as email, message boards and newsgroups, to a higher level. Today, he said, the action has shifted toward communications tools and platforms that mash together content, applications and commerce, all within the context of group interaction.

"All applications will grow to recognise and utilise the inherent group-forming aspects of their connection to the web, in ways that will become fundamental to our experiences. In scenarios ranging from productivity to media and entertainment, social mesh notions of linking, sharing, ranking and tagging will become as familiar as 'file', 'edit' and 'view'," said Ozzie.

Ozzie said that many enterprises are in the early stages of evolving their infrastructure in step with the future he envisions for Live Mesh, due to technologies such as cloud computing and virtualisation.

According to Reuters, the program will initially be limited to 10,000 US testers and computers running Windows XP and Vista, but Microsoft said it plans to extend Live Mesh over the next few months to mobile phones, computers from Apple and other devices connected to the internet.

In practical terms, Microsoft said, once its Live Mesh software is installed on each of a user's devices, the need for mailing attachments between desktop and mobile or any other unit is removed, as the software synchronises data across all devices within a user's "personal device mesh". For subsequent access, the company said its Live Desktop environment provides 5GB of free, password-protected storage and can be used from most web browsers.

In a further effort to position the new software, Ozzie alluded to a memo he wrote over two years ago entitled The Internet Services Disruption, when the company was still focused on bringing the Office 2007 and Vista products to market.

"It was truly software, not services, that was top of mind. Since then, we've made tremendous progress in our expansion towards software plus services. In light of all the work that we're doing, it's important that we build a shared sense of what Microsoft's path looks like in this transition towards software plus services. For consumers, advertisers and publishers," Ozzie said.

Topic: Tech Industry

Adrian Bridgwater

About Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater a freelance journalist specialising in cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects of software engineering and project management.

Adrian is a regular blogger with ZDNet.co.uk covering the application development landscape and the movers, shakers and start-ups that make the industry the vibrant place that it is.

His journalistic creed is to bring forward-thinking, impartial, technology editorial to a professional (and hobbyist) software audience around the world. His mission is to objectively inform, educate and challenge - and through this champion better coding capabilities and ultimately better software engineering.

Adrian has worked as a freelance technology journalist and public relations consultant for over fifteen years. His work has been published in various international publications including the Wall Street Journal, CNET.com, The Register, ComputerWeekly.com, BBC World Service magazines, Web Designer magazine, Silicon.com, the UAE’s Khaleej Times & ITP.net and SYS-CON’s Web Developer’s Journal. He has worked as technology editor for international travel & retail magazines and also produced annual technology industry review features for UK-based publishers ISC. Additionally, he has worked as a telecoms industry analyst for Business Monitor International.

In previous commercially focused roles, Adrian directed publicity work for clients including IBM, Microsoft, Compaq, Intel, Motorola, Computer Associates, Ascom, Infonet and RIM. Adrian has also conducted media training and consultancy programmes for companies including Sony-Ericsson, IBM, RIM and Kingston Technology.

He is also a published travel writer and has lived and worked abroad for 10 years in Tanzania, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Italy and the United States.

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