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Microsoft Quietly Updates Live Mesh

Microsoft announced a client update to the beta version of Live Mesh on Tuesday. The company is calling this release version 0.9.3424.14, and claims that it fixes a few problems.

The update automatically updates the browser-based client and solves a problem where the Aero graphical user interface was disabled in Windows 7, according to a Tuesday post on the Live Mesh team blog. It improves the handling of duplicate files and folders, as well as peer-to-peer synchronization, Microsoft claims.

Microsoft officials are planning to talk more about Live Mesh at the MIX09 Web developer event coming up in March. Two sessions added to the MIX09 roster include "Mesh-Enabled Web Applications" and "Live Framework and Mesh Services," according to a Microsoft blog.

Live Mesh is a platform that synchronizes data across various devices by storing data in the Internet cloud. It was first rolled out in a technology preview (prebeta) to developers in April and became a full beta release in late October. At that time, Microsoft added support for Windows Mobile-based devices and Mac OS X-based machines. The platform appears to be designed to sync-up data mostly for consumer use.

The Live Mesh platform is part of Microsoft's overall cloud-based offerings, as described by Microsoft Live Mesh team member Abhay Parasnis.

"Live Mesh is an experience that is natively integrated with the Live Services component of the Azure Services Platform -- it makes the core functionality of Live Services available to end users," Parasnis wrote in the Live Mesh team blog.

The Live Mesh product eventually will be released as part of Windows Live.

"After this year [2008], Live Mesh will be utilized in the next major release of Windows Live," Parasnis wrote in the team blog in October of 2008. "This is the first planned integration and ship vehicle for Live Mesh, and there will be others as we continue to deliver on our overall Software-plus-Services strategy."

The next Windows Live release could occur in February 2009, according to a memo described by NeoWin.net.

Windows Live was previewed by Microsoft way back in November of 2005. It supplements Windows with online mail, messaging and storage. In November, Microsoft reintroduced the idea of Windows Live Services by announcing a photo-sharing application that uses Windows Live SkyDrive, an online storage facility. Microsoft bumped up SkyDrive's storage capacity from 5 GB to 25 GB at that time.

Online storage with Live Mesh appears to be different. The Live Mesh home page cites a 5 GB storage limit.

Live Mesh is one of the technologies emphasized by Microsoft Chief Architect Ray Ozzie's as part of Microsoft's "software plus services" strategy.

Microsoft also has a separate synchronization solution that was released in December called Windows Live Sync, which replaced a similar application used to synchronize files and folders called Windows Live FolderShare. Windows Live Sync reportedly lacks online storage and requires that the connecting devices both be running Windows Live Sync to share files.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media. You can contact Herb at htorrens@verizon.net.

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