Microsoft has announced its Live Mesh initiative: you must have heard the rumble? Another network word to join grid, graph, and web.

We will have to see how it rolls out, but it is a reminder of how much is at play as Google, Microsoft and a few others race to build out our network world for work, learning and living.

Here is a concise statement from the Live Mesh blog:

The core philosophy is to make it easy to manage information in a world where people have multiple computing experiences (i.e. PCs and applications, web sites, phones, video games, music and video devices) that they use in the context of different communities (i.e. myself, family, work, organizations). [Live Mesh : Live Mesh as a Platform]

The aim seems to be to allow you to synchronize and share: to synchronize your data across your different device and application environments and to share them within your various affiliation groups. Key components are the integration of local and cloud, and the use of feeds as connective tissue.

Jon Udell extends:

There’s another pattern for Live Mesh applications, one that’s less familiar. In this pattern, a website uses Live Mesh as a pipeline to communicate with Live Mesh users. If you’re running a travel site, or a bank, you can use that pipeline to transmit structured data to your users — for example, itineraries or transaction reports. It’s easy to create those XML feeds, you can leverage the Live Mesh infrastructure to deliver them securely and reliably at scale, they synchronize across all devices in each user’s Live Mesh, and they’re accessible to local applications using same RESTful feed APIs that were used to create them. [Jon Udell]

Check out the memo from Ray Ozzie, chief software architect, describing Microsoft's view of the current environment and Live Mesh responds to this, and also the interview between Ray Ozzie and Jon Udell. Here is Ozzie on content:

Content has changed at both the “head” and the “tail”. The line between editorialized portals and blogs has blurred, and all are consumed through feeds. Beyond news, movies and music and television have all expanded to embrace the web. And the interrelation of content and community has created a world of “social media”, where both head and tail content is intrinsically social by virtue of community linking, tagging, and ranking. Relationships and collective behavioral intelligence have changed how we stay informed, find and share media, and interact with one another. [Full Text of Ray Ozzie Mesh Memo - ReadWriteWeb]

Phil Wainewright also has a positive assessment based on this early information:

Notice how the application no longer resides on a specific machine — quite a departure from Microsoft’s current licensing regime — but instead is defined in relation to the individual’s mesh. No wonder this isn’t even in beta yet. Imagine how much work has to be done before this can be delivered commercially. [Meshing the desktop into the cloud | Software as Services | ZDNet.com]

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