Microsoft's Cloudy Future with Live Mesh

Carl Weinschenk

The good information in this news.com article on Microsoft's Live Mesh is right in line with many ideas floating around during the past months.

 

Live Mesh, which the company discussed at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco this week, is a combination of tools and services that synchronize data between the desktop and the Internet cloud. It empowers developers to write applications enabling uniform experience no matter where the data is or what type of device is used.

 

It's worth noting that Microsoft is acting on the knowledge that the focal point is moving from the PC to the cloud.

 

The importance of the transition is noted in this InformationWeek story. The writer says Microsoft

has finally admitted that the PC is no longer the central element of everyone's computing experience.

The story goes on to say that the general approach, which is the baby of chief software architect Ray Ozzie, isn't without precedent. Microsoft already has gone a long way to enfranchising Web services and collaboration in a manner positioning the PC as one element in a much broader landscape. The idea is, however, that this is its most ambitious implementation to date.

The competitive fault lines between the major companies are falling into place. Network World looks at where Google is as the two companies jostle for position. The thesis of the piece is that the companies are coming from opposite ends of the spectrum. Google is delivering products and services from the cloud and -- by virtue of its recently announced offline support for Google Apps -- is sinking them into the local machine. Microsoft's task, which the writer says is more challenging, is to take what today is housed in the PC and relocate it in the cloud without extinguishing current revenue streams.


 

Make no mistake: We are on the cusp -- perhaps even beyond the cusp -- of massive change. Lots of what is written about this change has an academic and conceptual tone. However, such familiar offerings as those from Salesforce.com already incorporate these concepts.

 

Half a world away from Web 2.0, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, the vice president of engineering at Google and president of Google Greater China, elaborated on his company's vision in a WWW2008 conference keynote. He said the main element of cloud computing is that it stores data, is accessible from any device and is based on standards and protocols.

 

Lee said software is increasingly migrating to the cloud and being accessed through browsers. The writer provided several drivers of cloud computing. Google's version of cloud computing is user- and task-centric, able to harness more compute power per user than desktops working alone, more intelligent due to the mass of data to which it has access, programmable, and affordable because of the use of inexpensive computers.



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May 26, 2009 2:31 AM nick nick  says:

"Lee said software is increasingly migrating to the cloud and being accessed through browsers. The writer provided several drivers of cloud computing. Google's version of cloud computing is user- and task-centric, able to harness more compute power per user than desktops working alone, more intelligent due to the mass of data to which it has access, programmable, and affordable because of the use of inexpensive computers."   -- this is tru for some tasks like email, but not true for many others. I cannot imagine playing a 3D high end game rendered by the cloud only... I also don't want to store my personal or financial records in some datacenter of some company that I don't trust. If we look at photos/videos -- the only way to store quality photos/videos with good resolution is to use your personal computer + some backup. Moving things to the cloud and then back just does not make any sense. Also, it is dangerous, since your photos may surface on some "not so good" sites and the only explanation you'll get from your "cloud provider" -- "there was an information leak in our datacenter"...

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