In the earier stage of the Web 1.0 development (1990), the webpage was the only interaction between browsers and servers and the web content information was downloaded from the server to the local desktop Personal Computer (PC). Today, Web 2.0 has arrived and it changes the way of traditional Web communication from uni-directional to bi-directional and also allows many websites to interact with their users by providing valuable services such as the case of applications like Microsoft and Google.
“Software above the level of a single device” is one of the principles of the Web 2.0. At the EclipseCon 2005 conference, Tim O’Reilly stated that “The PC is no longer the only access device for Internet applications, and applications that are limited to a single device are less valuable than those that are connected”. Therefore, Internet/Web 2.0 applications are not limited to a single device or a platform. At the same time, they are able to be accessed by handheld devices, PCs and the Internet. As well, they need to be worked everywhere (Figure 1.0 – Internet/Web 2.0 application work everywhere).
Figure 1.0 – Internet/Web 2.0 Application work everywhere
New Web 2.0 applications such as Microsoft Live Mesh and Google Documents (Google Docs) are not limited to the PC platform. This week I am going to look into a Web 2.0 application that is characterized by “Software (that operates) above the level of a single device”.
What is Microsoft Live Mesh?
Live Mesh is a ’software-plus-services’ platform and experience from Microsoft 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 (Mary Jo Foley, 2008). In other words, Live Mesh is a “software-plus-services” platform plus a new kind of Internet Oriented Operating System (utility computing) which can do folder synchronization, file share, cross-platform access and complete with 5 GB of free storage and unlimited peer-to-peer data on the web. It also helps to synchronize files across PCs and devices. It is currently a beta application.
What Does Live Mesh include :
- 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 graphs, with news feeds across all of these.
From Microsoft First Look at Live Mesh, 2008
What Features do Live Mesh have :
- Devices page – Mesh Management
- Live Desktop – Users’ Windows PC on the web, complete with 5 GB of free storage space.
- Mesh bar – helps users manage their files and members are invited to share the files.
- Notifier – lets people see news about what’s happening in your mesh.
- News – continuous feed detailing activities in users’ mesh.
- Live Mesh Remote Desktop – Transports users to another computer in your mesh.
- Mac – Adds a Mac to users’ mesh. Sync and share folders between their PC and their Mac.
- Mobile – Takes users’ mesh with others wherever they go.
From mesh.com, 2009
The following behind the scenes video clip shows what is Microsoft Live Mesh.
Live Mesh is part of Live Services, one of the building blocks of Microsoft’s Azure Services Platform – a “cloud” platform hosted at Microsoft data centers (AbsoluteAstronomy.com, 2010). According David Chappell (2008), “Azure Services Platform can be used by applications running in the cloud and by applications running on a variety of local systems such as Windows, mobile devices and others.” Therefore, Live Mesh is a cloud computing platform which connects all the devices (mobile, computer, laptop) together in the cloud (Figure 2.0 – Mesh Ring) and stores data on servers in Microsoft data centers, as well as, remote access computers.
Figure 2.0 – Mesh Ring
The following video clip shows the Microsoft data center and cloud computing.
Live Mesh is also a client software run-time Mesh Operating Environment (MOE). MOE is a service composition runtime that provides a unified view of all Live Mesh services and a simple way for applications to interact with Live Mesh (Microsoft Blog, 2008). Currently, Live Mesh is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X (Some Live Mesh features not yet available for the Mac), as well as Mobile (Windows Mobile 6.1 or later). In the future, it will become a platform that allows developers’ use to connect both online and offline programs.
Microsoft has also integrated a feed (one of social networking elements) or collection of feeds (member feeds, news feeds, custom feeds) into Live Mesh to keep track of activities in the mesh (Figure 3.0 – Live Mesh News). It allows Live Mesh users/members to invite other users to share a file or folder and access on devices (Windows PC, Mac OS, mobile phone, xBox and more) in their Live Mesh network.
Figure 3.0 – Live Mesh News
There are some other similiar Web services that offer remote desktop or file-sharing capabilities or online backup storage. They are allowing users to keep in sync across multiple platforms such as Apple MobileMe, Box.net, Dropbox and Mozy. However, some of applications need fees, for examples Apple’s MobileMe which costs $119 AUD person/year with 20GB web-storage and Box.net is $119.4 USD person/year with 1GB web-storage.
In conclusion, with the technology development today, the new Web technology allows all applications to have more ability to access the various PCs that connect to the Web. As well, the marriage of Web applications and mobile (portable) devices gives the users applications that allow more effective bi-directional or even multi-directional communication. At the end, the future of the operating system (OS) will increasingly rely heavily on Web-based files rather than the local drive files.
D, Chappell. 2008. Introducing the Azure Services Platform. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
EclipseCon. 2005. Open Source Business Model Design Patterns. Tim O’Reilly. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
Microsoft. 2008. Microsoft First Look at Live Mesh. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
Microsoft. 2009. What’s inside Live Mesh? Retrieved April 15, 2010.
Microsoft Blog. 2008. Behind Live Mesh : What is MOE? Retrieved April 15, 2010.
M, Foley. 2008. Ten things to know about Microsoft’s Live Mesh. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
Live Mesh. 2010. Absolute Astronomy. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
Live Mesh. 2010. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 15, 2010.