In a departure from Microsoft's PC-centric view of the computing world, Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie announced details of "Live Mesh," a service that Microsoft says will allow data and applications to follow users across multiple devices. In a memo sent to Microsoft employees, Ozzie talked about a view of the computing world that includes the web as the hub rather than a PC.
"Over the past 10 years, the PC era has given way to an era in which the Web is at the center of our experiences--experiences delivered not just through the browser but also through many different devices including PCs, phones, media players, game consoles, set-top boxes and televisions, cars, and more,"
Microsoft: Web at the center, not PC (News.com)
FAQ: Making sense of Live Mesh (News.com)
Microsoft is conducting a "limited software preview" with about 10,000 developers and users right now, with a public Beta to follow in the near future. Though Microsoft has assured developers that their platform will be open, there are still plenty of developers who are taking that statement with a grain of salt. Still, a preview looks promising as it seems easy to use and fairly seamless, but as with everything else Microsoft, the proof is in production.
Developers question Mesh openness (BBC News)
Live Mesh Technology Preview: First Look (Liveside)
Synchronizing data across multiple devices through a "Cloud" certainly has its appealing qualities. I do wonder what the business model is going to look like given Microsoft's history, they have mentioned subscriptions, ad-based, and micropayments as possibilities, but nothing definitive yet. It is nice to see that the competition they are receiving from various quarters appears to be spurring them to innovate more, something that will end up being good for the industry as a whole. Do you think that Live Mesh will catch the fish that Microsoft is trolling after?