Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Microsoft Live 'Mesh' -

, posted: 3-Jun-2008 22:41

I visited over the weekend and signed up to be in queue to try the 'tech preview'. About 24 hours later I got my invite to try it.

So far I've only had a quick look, but it appears to take the file synchronisation technology previously available in 'FolderShare' (which Microsoft acquired a couple of years ago) with a bunch of new features such as 'Live Mesh Remote Desktop' to use remote applications on the computers you've got linked up. You also get a 'live desktop' of 5gb to freely sync your files to.

Currently only XP and Vista clients are supported but Mobile and Mac clients are coming soon.

This is not the sort of thing I'd recommend in a business environment, but could be a good way to get at and synchronise key items on a home computer. The main limitation is the 5gb limit but I'm sure Live Mesh will have it's uses.

Signup here: 

The lowdown on Live Mesh from Microsoft's team:

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Comment by freitasm, on 4-Jun-2008 07:39

Lucky you. I registed on the first day and never got an invite. I can't be bothered now, since I found it requires UAC enabled which is a royal pain.

Author's note by paulspain, on 4-Jun-2008 09:29

I forgot to mention that the current beta is only open to those in the United States. You can however simply scoot around this obstacle by updating your Windows Live ID profile to say your location is the United States.

Comment by BobW, on 4-Jun-2008 10:02

Mesh looks very cool.  I've been using the Foldershare service for a while, which does some of the same things.

Foldershare has a limit of 10 folders each of 10,000 files.  I've looked around the Mesh documentation and reviews but haven't seen mention of a limit on the number of computers or files - does it have such limits?

Also, how does the 5GB storage limit work?  Does this apply to all files I have in the Mesh, or just the files I put in the Live folder?

Comment by chakkaradeep, on 4-Jun-2008 10:33

@Mauricio, I registered on the first day and got my invites just last Thursday. I agree that some luck is required though

@Paul, AFAIK, you need not have US as your region in your Live Id - the client installer checks your system when installing. Nothing for downloading and signing in with your Live Id. I now have 2 Live Mesh accounts for my two Live Ids and both have NZ as their region but my system was changed to US when installing and changed back to NZ after that. You can have a look here in this post.

Comment by lugh, on 4-Jun-2008 15:43

My profile is NZ-based and I got an invite from MS Connect. 

Oddly, even though it apparently requires UAC, you never get any UAC-prompts (I have mine left on because I found the "you don't have your UAC on" warnings more annoying).

Comment by freitasm, on 4-Jun-2008 22:04

The problem is that UAC doesn't like Hamachi running at startup - and I like my VPN better...