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Live Mesh seems like a simple thing, perhaps that is the point? But what 'Mesh offers me is of great personal value in that it gives me is a little part of my day back and one less complication in my life.

So what is so great about it? Well I can work on documents, blog posts, spreadsheets, any file, from work or working from home, seamlessly without having to transport them via USB key or emailing them to a home or work account and run the gauntlet of quotas and cumbersome filters.

Live Mesh is currently in beta but promise seamless interaction with Mac and Windows Mobile devices. The killer features that is already here is the ability to ‘mesh’ i.e. connect with other people which is a pretty handy thing if you’re working in team that is geographically dispersed and doesn’t have ready access to a single corporate LAN and storage hanging off it.

However Live Mesh at the moment does come with concerns about security which Tech Tidbits eloquently points out with the paranoia siren turned up to full volume.  A narrow-minded InfoSec Robot will freak-out at the thought of Live Mesh but perhaps the more pragmatic and thoughtful InfoSec Expert would be more pleased. Why? Because transporting files around is something that does happen and nothing is going to stop that short of a dictatorship, in essence it is an essential of modern business and everyday practice, so would you rather send files from place to place via …

A) Electronically – by using security protocols that are the same as the ones used to send credit card details when purchasing online?

… or …

B) Physically - By a laptop, CD-ROM or USB key that can and will get lost, as the UK Government knows all too well?

Live Mesh is the equivalent of setting up a private VPN between you and your other devices and colleagues. This VPN has the added advantage of a 5GB storage cache! Be warned, don’t get hung up on the reliability and robustness of the storage cache, remind yourself it is a product in beta and a free-bee so don’t expect a gold plating SLA.

Of course you do have to be a bit smart and realise that any information that is remotely sensitive shouldn’t be anywhere near Live Mesh and point your anti-virus software to check the Mesh folders several times a day just-in-case would be prudent.

The last thought on security is to check your organisation IT acceptable use policies, or equivalent, that the use of Live Mesh doesn’t land you into any hot water, maybe worth running it past your local friendly InfoSec Officer for the all clear before setting up your Mesh.

If you want to know the security setup of Live Mesh I would highly recommend reading The Live Mesh teams blog post on the subject here.

A bad point about ‘Mesh is that it currently takes up 150MB of RAM which I’m not so impressed about. Ok so I have 2GB in all my boxes but still, it does seem to be a large footprint.

My last thought for the post is on the future of Live Mesh. MobileMe from Apple is a similar service which I admit I haven’t tried purely because I was up using ‘Mesh before I heard about Apple’s offering. I have also heard that MobileMe is going to be a subscription based service, I have no doubt that ‘Mesh is heading in that direction. So would I pay for it? Well the simple answer  is, depends on the price and what I get for me money. I wouldn’t be prepared to pay more than the price of USB key which is essentially the competition. I think that £10 p.a. would be about right and less if you already subscribe to over Live services. However, if a free basic service is what you are looking for then Dekoh could be enough for you.

Live Mesh is another demonstration that Microsoft is into ‘Cloud Computing’ and looking to make revenue from it. I am pleased that they believe the future is on as well as off the 'Cloud' as I can’t see many organisations enjoying the idea of having the Internet between their users and essential services, however this won't be the same story with none-essential services.

Anyway, whilst it is still free, ‘Mesh is worth trying out.

The lovely Eileen has also been using ‘Mesh as well. Obviously a women of good taste.

Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2008 3:26 PM Main | Back to top


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