Live Mesh is back baby!
The service that has been in beta for around two years, known as Windows Live Mesh was packaged in Live Essentials 2011 as Live Sync.
Microsoft came back to the original name: Windows Live Mesh.
I’ve been using Live Mesh since day one and I think it’s a fantastic service. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a Microsoft service with a cloud component and a local (desktop or mobile) component and it basically syncs stuff from your machine to the cloud. The original service syncs folders, so you could easily setup a few folders on your machine to sync with folders in the cloud.
The UI is easy, everything syncs seamlessly, it’s great. On top of that, you can use a few tricks, for instance, you can sync your favorites (which are files in a My Documents folder), so your favorites can follow you from a device to another. You can also share folders with other users, which I never tried.
Now the real power of that technology comes from the architecture and the possibility to build apps on top of it. The model is that there’s a local component which mirrors Live Mesh in the cloud ; when you need a resource or you want to update a resource, you do it locally and Live Mesh synchronizes the resources for you. This provides a very simple architecture where Live Mesh abstracts the synchronization logic.
There was a Live Mesh SDK allowing you to develop applications by talking to this local version of Live Mesh. There was even talks at PDCs about deploying applications using Live Mesh. I don’t know how much of this is moving forward with Live Essentials 2011.
An issue I see with this service is that it relies on Windows Live. I therefore cannot use Live Mesh to build an Enterprise Application. I don’t know if we’ll see a more Azure-flavored version of Live Mesh in the near future…