Live Mesh First Look [Part 2]

When I reviewed Windows Live services a long time back, I said that Web 2.0 is here and Microsoft is making it’s presence felt. Here is just part of what one can expect of things to come.

First Look [Part 1] of Live Mesh showed how Mesh looks and what are the basic categories of Mesh, now let’s get down to some how it does what it is supposed to do.

Let’s try creating a new folder. Double click on the ‘Create new folder’ icon, yes double click like you do on your desktop. You will be greeted by a screen like this:

Pretty self explanatory, gives you the options of how you want this folder to synced, the name of the folder. The sync options that have been given are:

  1. When files are added.
  2. Once used.
  3. Smaller than 500kb
  4. Modified in the past 30 days.
  5. Don’t sync.

Once the folder has been created it will appear on your online Mesh desktop. Let’s open this folder and see. You will be surprised to see pretty much the same Explorer interface that Vista has, the toolbar, the navigation bar, the bread-crumb navigation, close/minimize/maximize buttons (which all work). Everything like Vista’s Explorer. The navigation bar is breadcrumb style and when click on it will turn to the old XP style. Screen shot:


Let’s have a look at the toolbar, the following options are available:

  • Organize:
    • New
      • Folder
      • Upload File
    • Layout
      • Detail Pane – The one at the bottom in your Vista Explorer.
      • Navigation Panel – Folder navigation just as found in Windows.
  • View
    • Details
    • Icons
    • Media
  • Upload
  • New Folder
  • Media View – You will need Silverlight installed for this.

The section on the right of folder window is something I call the Details pane. It shows activity details, syncing & permission options for that particular folder that you have opened. It has 3 sections:

  1. News – Updates & messages left for this folder.
  2. Members – The members who are allowed access to the particular folder.
  3. Synchronized Devices – The devices that Mesh is synced with for this folder.

Each of them is drop down, clicking on either shows the details in the respective categories. Screen shot:

1. News:

Let’s see the News section for any particular folder:

Under News, you can leave a message as a reminder or as a note for others who have access to that folder and that message will be shown. To add a note, all you need to do is click on ‘New post’ under News and you can post a note. “Manan Kakkar said …” is a note/post that I have made and is visible under News for all the members who have access to the folder. As you can see the icons for each update make it easy to understand the kind of update. Screen shot:

2. Members:

Mesh allows you add other users and grant them access on a per-folder basis. There are 3 permission options for users:

  1. Owner
  2. Contributor
  3. Reader

In order to add members or edit permissions for a member you need to click on the Members tab in the details pane and you will get something like this:

Click Add to grant access to another member. You add members using their email ids and can send an invite Email from the Add-Member wizard itself. You can invite 5 new users. Add-Member wizard screen shot:

3. Synchronized Devices:

This menu allows to set the devices with which the particular folder is synced. You can add and remove devices and also set as to when the files should be synced. The sync options are the same as shown in the beginning for the new folder. Screen shot:

Back to the Explorer of Mesh.

Media View:

As I said above that Mesh has a Media View option. The Media View is simply slick. If you have images to see, it will generate thumbnails at the top and will start in the slide-show mode in the window, with all slide-show options as in Windows. The transition between images is a fade-through-back, which makes it look abso-friggin-lutely slick. Screen shot:

In Mesh if you have something like the Start-bar for Windows but it’s purpose is only to navigate between the multiple folders that are open. The scree shot will explain this:

I have 3 folder open, namely – Manan, Feeds & Being Manan, clicking on the name of the folder will bring that folder to front. Exactly like it happens in Windows on the desktop.

This is I think the most comprehensive tour of Live Mesh. Hope you liked it. Please Digg it as a sign of appreciation. Thank you!