My initial thoughts about Mesh...

Update 7/28/08: LiveSide (, or Twitter @liveside) posted that Mobile Mesh is out in a limited capacity (no folder IO sync yet), from your Windows Mobile, Blackberry, iPhone, or Symbian.

Update #2 7/29/28: Mac client was out briefly today, but was quickly brought offline.   Screenshots for this & mobile are at

First and foremost:The platform sells itself: The key is getting people to install the client,  add something to their Mesh from one device, and  'consume' it from another.  Nevermind the details, they complicate things.  Erick at TechCrunch stated in April that Mesh is 'aimed at developers'.  What?  Why are they aiming? Throw it out there with some simple user stories and see what happens.  Share photos, back-up your important stuff, access your favorites from any computer, write your own news stream.  It could be compared to the functionality of many social apps:  flickr, google docs, twitter, all the recent sync/backup services (that's the trend lately I guess)...

Wish my Blackberry had a Mesh client.  I would love to sync images/videos taken with my camera, view files from my laptop, home pcs, work pc, from my blackberry...  Mobile clients are due in late '08.

Wish Mac had a Mesh client.  My boss has shifted to the Mac camp, and I don't really blame him.  Ours isn't the only enterprise with a chance to convert from MSFT to Mac/Linux in the next 3-5 years.  Non-windows clients for the Mesh platform won't keep this from happening, but it will reduce the growing 'painting myself into the corner' feeling that MSFT technologies tend to have.  Mac clients are supposedly due for release late this year.

Source control??? Sharing of files & folders, reporting, versioning, syncing, and for extra credit: realtime collaborative authoring (at the very least, via remoting)???  Still unsure about how many requirements Mesh meets here, still playing around with it.

Smaller bits from the blog team: This is probably rediculous, but Twitter is ruining my taste for verbosity.  I guess there should be some detailed anchor content that is thorough, and it's as good a place as any.  I have to wonder though: If the Mesh team posted more frequently on much smaller stories and concepts, Mesh adoption may increase, and the details would flesh themselves out via posts from the developers they're targeting (like me).

Public Mesh: It may not be practical in a Mesh topology, but it would be cool to be able to watch how other people are using Mesh, and it may create opportunities to broaden networks.

Competing with Google: MSFT needs to go live with a model that makes me feel like they're giving it away.  I am sure they will have priced tiers for their services, but the 'free' service should be generous enough that I don't feel like I get more from Google.  Let people appreciate the value of the cloud before they are even asked to pay for it in any way.

Hotkey: I love notifyicons, but I love hotkeys more.  I don't like to have to hunt for my icon to view remote documents or interact with my colleagues.  It needs to become a natural extension of my Windows experience, like OS X's F12

Social net awareness: Import my friends from {twitter, gmail, facebook, linkedin}.  Mesh should give me as many opportunities as possible to bridge my social nets together - this complements its goals of bridging apps and devices.  Friendfeed does an amazing job at this, but will probably always be just a social net.

Print | posted on Friday, July 18, 2008 1:18 PM


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