Have you messed with Mesh yet?

One of my favorite things to come out of the Live team’s portfolio of products is Mesh… and I am a bit of a geek about it.  Mesh combines the online storage capabilities of SkyDrive with the peer-to-peer sharing capabilities of FolderShare.  While it is a new offering, is still in beta, and is not a replacement for the latter two solutions yet, do a bit of digging and it will become apparent that we have big plans for this platform component in the future.

So what are the education scenarios here?  Imagine a student that has a desktop PC in their dorm room, a laptop they carry around, and random machines they access in a library.  Normally their ‘synchronization device’ is the USB stick they carry around in their pocket, and this all works fine until it gets dropped down the toilet, stood on, lost, or worse.

Now imagine that same student using Live Mesh.  They create an online folder (or several folders) on their Live Desktop, add their own machines (the PC and the laptop) into the mesh and have those folders all synch up.  Now regardless of whether they are online on a library PC or offline on their laptop/PC, they can always access their files.  Even if their machine of choice is a Mac, we offer a Mac Mesh client as well (currently in limited tech preview as of today) and soon a client for Windows Mobile SmartPhones!

But it does not stop quite there…  let’s say a student forgets to put a file into their Mesh, they are connected to a wireless network from their laptop, and they know that the file they need is on their dorm PC.  Mesh enables that student to connect to that dorm PC over a terminal services session, log onto it, and drag the file into their mesh.

But it does not stop quite there… … let’s say that that same student is now working with a group of other students in a study group.  Any folder in the mesh can also be synched with other people through an invitation model.  For students that are invited to share a folder with someone else and that accept, that folder will be added to their Live Desktop.  Permissions can be set by the originating owner, and folders can be synched with other members’ machines.

But it does not stop there either…is this getting wearisome? You can also use Mesh as a messenger service to communicate with others by posting messages or chatting directly through the interface.

But it does not stop quite there … … … there is also an API available, so the ultimate number of uses you could set this to are limited by your imagination.

Enjoy!

Jonny

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