John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Microsoft Announces Live Mess

Microsoft’s chief software architect Ray Ozzie has finally published the sequel to “The Internet Services Disruption,” the 2005 potboiler of a memo that charted Microsoft’s (MSFT) better-late-than-never software-as-a-service strategy. It’s called, intriguingly, “Services Strategy Update April 2008” and it describes in numbing detail Live Mesh, Microsoft’s ambitiously late entry into a rapidly growing cloud-computing market.

Live Mesh, though it takes Ozzie five pages to describe it, is essentially a “software-plus-services” platform that uses the Web to synchronize and share data among devices, applications and people (you’ll find a walk-through here and a good overview here).

“Over the past ten 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,” Ozzie writes. “It is our mission in this new era to create compelling, seamless experiences that combine the power of the Internet, with the magic of software, across a world of devices. … the Web is the hub of our social mesh and our device mesh.”

The Web is the hub of our social mesh and our device mesh.

Wait.

Does Bill Gates know that? Because last year he told CNN’s “American Morning,” “We’re making the PC the place where it all comes together.” Clearly, in the ensuing year, Gates and Microsoft noticed that Google (GOOG) et al. are fast shifting computational relevancy to the Web, away from the desktop and, more importantly, away from Microsoft.

Live Mesh, if it’s successful, will change that. Because, as Joe Wilcox notes over at Microsoft Watch, “Live Mesh is Microsoft’s attempt to turn operating system and proprietary services platforms into hubs that replace the Web. Microsoft is building a services-based operating system that transcends and extends Windows and also the function of Web browsers.” Adds Wilcox, “It’s bold, brilliant and downright scary.”


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