Live Mesh, a first look
This morning I found a mail in my inbox telling me I was invited to Live Mesh. That's a nice start of the weekend, so thanks Jan! The Live Desktop user interface looks pretty cool, and it almost feels like a real desktop. But that part of Live Mesh is pretty much like Live SkyDrive: a big online disk for you to put stuff on. Lots of stuff. 5 Gigabytes worth of stuf... ;)
I immediately went to the installer for my machine, because that would make Mesh stand out from an online storage service like SkyDrive. But I was kinda surprised to get this message: 'Product does not support running under elevated administrator account or with UAC disabled'.
Say what? So Windows Vista enables me to disable User Account Control, but the Live Mesh notifier* will not install on a machine that has UAC disabled? That's just wrong in my book, especially because the intial help info doesn't explan why it should be enabled. But OK, it's a preview. This might be modified before it goes all the way live ;)
After some searching and digging through the help, I think I found the explanation of why UAC should be enabled. In short: The remote desktop functionality (!) of Live Mesh won't work (correctly) without UAC enabled. Although the help suggests you can still use the Live Mesh notifier without having UAC enabled, you can't install it. I've tried livemesh -help which is supposed to display command line options, but that doesn't seem to work. Maybe because AUC is disabled...?
A cool thing over there is this nice little developers movie. It explains how Live Mesh works behind the scenes and how developers can make applications that benefit from the possibilities Live Mesh has to offer. Nice...
Besides that, channel 10 has a post that asks 'Do you really get Live Mesh'? Because it has so many possibilities, you can't explain it in an 'elevator pitch'. They suggest watching this great movie, that sheds a light on what Live Mesh has to offer.
Just wanted to add this screenshot: Live Mesh stops showing updates (and wasting bandwith) when you haven't used the window for ten minutes. That's kind smart, right ;)
I can't really conclude, because I haven't enabled UAC to test adding my device. At least, not yet... Watching all the movies, both provided by the Live Mesh team and by others, gives a pretty good idea though. I think Live Mesh might help change the way we use computers, the internet and data. The strong developer approach (there are already SDK's available with Visual Studio code snippets and howto's!) will drive the number of Mesh-enabled applications, which is probably one of the most important factors in the success of Live Mesh. Undoubtetly to be continued ...
* The Live Mesh notifier is the gateway to the folders, devices, and news in your mesh. You can open the notifier by clicking the Live Mesh icon that appears in the notification area of your Windows taskbar on your device or in the lower right-hand corner of your Live Desktop (The online location where your Live Mesh folders are stored, so you can access them from the web.)