Live Mesh tech preview open to Aussies

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Live Mesh tech preview open to Aussies

Microsoft has opened its much-anticipated Live Mesh technology preview up to Australian users for the first time.

The technology, when completed, will provide a way for people to synchronise information across a ‘mesh’ of devices, including desktop and notebook PC, Mac and smartphone.

Details of Mac and mobile phone synchronisation capabilities are yet to be announced.

Aussies with a Windows Live ID can now use their log-in to participate in the technology preview, which was previously only open to U.S. residents, according to Harvey Sanchez, online services lead for Microsoft Australia.

“We’ve been receiving great feedback on Live Mesh from the beta community,” Sanchez told iTnews.

“People are still coming to terms with what Live Mesh is, because it can be a lot of things. It can synchronise access to files and folders, be used for Terminal Services or as a development platform.”

After logging into the site, users are presented with the Live Desktop, which provides a 5GB space to store folders and files, and an interface to add and manage devices in your personal ‘mesh’.

Users have to install the Live Mesh software on each device they want to mesh. It currently supports computers running the Vista and XP SP2 operating systems.

“Users like the unified effort around device synchronisation, and the ability to have storage on the cloud but access it in offline mode as well,” explained Sanchez.

“Support for multiple devices and platforms is on our roadmap. We want to create a fully integrated heterogeneous environment.”

Device synchronisation is one of the main differences between Live Mesh and existing Live services like Skydrive.

“Both Live Mesh and Skydrive offer cloud storage, but if I make changes to a document and resave it, the changes are [automatically] reflected in the mesh, whereas with Skydrive you have to upload the changes manually,” said Sanchez.

Another interesting application is the use of Live Mesh by developers as a way to collaborate and share code.

“Because it’s a collaborative platform, it allows people to share folders and documents, synchronise any changes to them and to effectively work in groups,” explained Sanchez.

More announcements and technical details are expected to be announced at Microsoft Australia’s Tech.Ed 2008, which occurs September 3-5, Sanchez added.

Microsoft is also said to be working closely with systems integrators, content providers and OEMs to build up a Live Mesh ecosystem.

“We’re trying to engage with the community locally,” said Sanchez.
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