Live Mesh: it’s everything we told you about (and a lot more)

mesh As you read this Live Mesh ( is being announced as a Technology preview.  Of course if you’ve been reading LiveSide you already know quite a bit about Live Mesh, we’ve been telling you about Live Mesh (or Horizon) since last December, and about Windows Live Core for a lot longer than that.  But now, after two years of incubation, Microsoft is ready to open up the Live Mesh platform to a Technology Preview.

First things first, yes Live Mesh is a platform.  While what we’ve been telling you about: a software + services approach to synching, sharing, storing, and accessing files and folders from your devices and on the web is all correct, Live Mesh aims a lot higher than just a Foldershare type file synching program.  We will be spending a lot of time on Live Mesh in the coming days, and truthfully there is a lot to soak up here.  Live Mesh will work initially on Windows PCs, XP and Vista, but support for Macs and mobile devices are coming soon.  Of course it’s very early in the game, but based on the push Microsoft is putting on this announcement, you can see why we’ve been excited.

To start with, here’s a quick overview of Live Mesh and a couple quick screenshots.  We’ll have lots more coming up in subsequent posts:

What is Live Mesh?

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 organizations 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 centers.

§ 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.






I spent a little time today talking to Jeff Hansen, Ori Amiga, and Noah Edelstein from Live Mesh.  We’ll have a lot more from them when I head down to San Francisco on Thursday, but they outlined the Live Mesh Platform for me, noting the four main components:

  • The Mesh Resources Model
    • Devices
    • Data
    • Applications
    • Relationships
  • Array of Cloud Services
  • The Mesh Operating Experience (MOE)
    • XP and Vista to start
    • Mac (coming soon)
    • Mobile (coming soon)
    • more
  • Protocols and APIs, the Mesh framework

In this initial phase, Live Mesh will consist of a small desktop install on your PC or laptop and a web component.  We’ll go through in a lot more detail some of the components of this early look, including the Live Mesh Notifier – think of it like a Facebook or Friendfeed river of news set of information about events concerning your Live Mesh (new members, new folders, etc), only with CMS type capabilities to dig deeper into that information; the Device Ring, where you will manage your devices in the mesh, and the Mesh Bar, a Windows Sidebar type window that will contain information about a Live Mesh folder when it is open.

Way too much here to tell you about in one post, but now that the cat is out of the bag, even if it is an early Technology Preview (Live Mesh as a beta will be announced later in the year), and we’re about to get our hands on it, you’re going to be hearing lots more soon.

Update: See our followup posts or check out all posts tagged Live Mesh.