Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Live Mesh Possibilities!

Couple of years ago, when I was designing a custom application over BlackBerry sync, I was facing some real technical challenges - like interfacing with Device driver libraries, handling character encoding between PC and BlackBerry device, etc.
Hopefully, Live Mesh would solve most of these issues for Windows based devices once it's released. The prime objective of the Live Mesh, as I understand, is to provide a developer friendly interface to the Mesh Platform so that useful applications can be seamlessly written. So I expect a much more user-friendly, coarse-grained services from Live Mesh platform that will relieve the developer from handling low-level issues.
On seeing NetFlix Taps Microsoft's Silverlight for Streaming movies, Blockbuster working on a Live Mesh app to deliver video on demand and seeing a whole set of Hosted services release from Microsoft, I am starting to believe that Microsoft is steering the industry in the new direction, as it claims 'Software+Services'.
To be specific, I was curious to understand the possibilities of LiveMesh, beyond File and App synchronization. Obviously, File sharing/Device syncrhonization alone cannot be the USP of LiveMesh. And I hoped there must be something more to that...And I was not wrong.
Got some interesting findings about Live Mesh possibilities..
- Live Mesh is not just a point solution for file sharing. It is a 'Platform' in the Cloud that is intended to provide synchronization services across various devices including SmartPhones and PCs.
- The main intention is to provide developer friendly platform & services so that useful applications can be built on top of the platform. Developers can sync not just folders/files. They can design custom objects and sync across devices/apps. Yes, I said 'apps' across devices.
- There are two aspects to Live Mesh. 1. Building Rich applications in the PCs that can synch/transmit data and settings across devices. 2. Ability to extend Websites to a world of devices (The second one is really interesting)
- What are the new capabilities a Live Mesh enabled Website will provide? Here are some scenarios.
- You will be able to export your transactional data from an online banking website into your personal device of choice. And you will be able to do this when you are online and logged into Online Banking website. We can expect to see lot more websites Mesh enabled, as it moves to Production ready status.
- If you are a frequent travel website user, the website can pickup your calender data from the Mesh (Your own personal Mesh, It could be from your PC or a SmartPhone) and recommend travel plans accordingly. Sounds cool! It may also mean that you will be able to perform a Single Sign-On from the Travel website to your Live mesh account?. May be :-)
- Now, add to this Live Mesh technology, some juice of data semantics and custom logic, you get a new range of 'highly personalized' applications that truly implements the software+services hybrid architecture.
But, We will have to wait and see how long its going to take to see these kind of apps in reality!

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