Live Mesh First Look

Been some time since I wrote about any Live product. Been actually lazy, these things are getting so many features, every product is being updated pretty quickly. Anyway,  I recently got my Live Mesh account activated and damn you I love the interface. That’s not all, I am pretty optimistic of what Ray Ozzie has actually set out to achieve. Microsoft is behind in the race of ruling the cloud, but if they were to somehow integrate all their Live services with Windows then it is going to become a formidable force. The integration part is left for another post. Right now, Ray Ozzie’s baby and Microsoft’s online hope – Live Mesh!

This one is for my less-fortunate friends who missed out on this opportunity too.

The Mesh team a couple of days back announced that are open to doubling the number of people that get access to Live Mesh and I got in. Got my account activated pretty quickly and was greeted with the Devices screen. Man it looks so slick and the transition between devices is so smooth. I wish they can bring such smooth animations to Windows desktop. The default page is set on the Live Devices and you can see that you have around 5 GB of online space. Here is a screen shot of the Devices screen:

Here you can see the different types of devices:

  1. Your PC
  2. Live Desktop
  3. Mobile Phone
  4. Mac
  5. Add A Device

Now let’s say you want to sync your desktop, so simply click on the ‘Add Device’ icon, look at the cool rotation animation then have a look at this screen shot:

It shows you that Mobile Phone & Mac support is Coming Soon. To add your XP or Vista desktop, you will need to download & install a client. Note that Vista 64bit has a different client. So download the client and install it. When I tried doing this something really depressing happened. Something that kinda turned me off. On a RTM Vista (non-SP1) you need to have UAC enabled. Have a look at this post if you want UAC to bug you less. Anyway, if you have Vista SP1 this can be avoided. The error message I ran into has been shown in the previous post. Once I got UAC enabled and installed the client you will see the Mesh icon in you taskbar, clicking which will show you a pop-up which has 3 tabs:

  1. View Recent News.
  2. View Devices.
  3. View Recent Folder Activity.

Here is the pop-up windows showing you the devices, similarly you can see the news updates and the folder activities too. Screen shot:

After installation a folder named – Live Mesh Folder is created in your profile and has a shiny blue folder icon. You can drag-drop files into this folder and it will be magically synced and available online and on other devices too. Pretty cool, eh? Once you have added your desktop, the Live Mesh Devices page will now show that device name. Let’s say you click on the PC you just synced, this is what you get:

As you see under Storage it says Coming Soon, I have no clue what that is so, also under Options you have the choice of renaming the device or deleting it.

Let’s have a look at how to navigate in Mesh. The top has the bar very same as that in other Live services, in Mesh it has 3 tabs and the Search box. Screen shot:

The 3 options:

  1. Desktop – Is your Live Mesh online desktop and trust me it absolutely looks & behaves like your Vista desktop.
  2. Devices – We just saw this page.
  3. News – Shows you updates about activity on your Mesh account.

Let’s go to our desktop and see what we have there. This is the screen that comes when you go to your desktop:

To the right of Devices is News. News, basically shows you the updates to your Mesh account, whether by you or by someone who you have given access to. Yes, you can add members to use this service. I shall be covering this with the Desktop capabilities of Mesh in subsequent posts. Mean while here is the News screen:

This is part 1, the next part will contain the working of the desktop feature of Mesh. So, enjoy!