Shrinking the 'App Surface' - Microsoft Mesh

I have lost track of how many social networks I'm involved with.  The 'app-surface' is too huge to manage.

In my work, we struggle with a problem of custom development: another system means another place for the lawyers to worry about their data. 

We are maintaining apps that were designed for a specific purpose but are being used by 25% of the organization.  

Occasionally, I will bang out a new prototype app that may or may not take off.   It helps keep the innovation conversation going, but it broadens the surface of possible apps to work in.  This is a problem.  The solution is buried somewhere within the combination of service-enabling application data, creating dashboards and pluggable architectures, notification systems, unified communication, etc... Lately we have been talking about Sharepoint as the ultimate solution because you can wire all of your enterprise libraries into web parts and slap it all onto a single webpage.  What about mobile data then?  What about non-web types of collaboration?  What about persisting a conversation between meetings, email, and phone?  The problem too big to solve with a website.  It may be too big to solve with a platform, but it sounds like Microsoft is having a go at it with Mesh.

The Mesh is composed of 'mesh objects', which are standardized feeds (SSE, which is now FeedSync) of data.  Mike Zintel from the Live Mesh Team talks about Mesh in his "Live Mesh As A Platform" post:

... a customer’s mesh, or collection of devices, applications and data that an individual owns or regularly uses...
... one instantiation of a mesh object is as a local (shared, aka Live) folder on a PC. This same mesh object might be instantiated as a slideshow on a web site, and as preview and upload UX on a mobile device with a built-in camera. A Live Folder is but one specialization of a mesh object. A mesh object could also represent a range of cells in Excel or a To Do list that can be accessed from anywhere

I want this so bad... My collaboration post here shows where my head is at when it comes to communication channels and their disconnectedness from each other.  I think speech-to-text and text-to-speech, combined with data-to-feed and feed-to-data (bidirectional feeds especially, with FeedSync!) are going to tie things together and shrink our app-surface to a managable level.  The Mesh, as far as I understand it, is the first technology that makes this seem possible.

In the meantime we will keep juggling (and forgetting about) our socnets along with our various calendars, emails, meetings, and apps...

Print | posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 3:58 PM


# re: Shrinking the 'App Surface' - Microsoft Mesh

left by Jacob Cynamon at 4/23/2008 4:57 PM Gravatar

I saw an article about this earlier today, so it's interesting to get a consumer take on this. When I first saw the article, I thought, "ok, so they've got Groove technology opened to the masses." Needless to say, I wasn't impressed.

However, with your explanation of what can be a "mesh object", my enthusiasm is increasing. We're continuing on the way toward truly ubiquitous computing. It's been years since Bill Gates initially made the claim of striving for data all the time, everywhere, when you need it. Looks like we may be getting close.

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