I have been using the Live Mesh Tech Preview for several days now and I am quietly excited about what it allows me to do. While I have no good reason to have several Tablet PCs around here, the fact is, I do. Okay – it’s because I like to have various kinds of machines so that I can spread them out on a table or pass them around when I do a presentation about them. Anyway, it is just a monstrous task to keep sample files and synchronized. The same is true of presentations. I go through minor conniptions and have major anxieties about arriving at a presentation with the wrong version of a file (or worse, without it) because I grabbed the wrong machine on the way out the door.
I was chatting with an old buddy and fellow MVP the other night, and we got talking about usage scenarios. He’s far more adept than I am at making sure that his servers are always up, running, accessible from anywhere, and secure. For him, there was no compelling need to explore Live Mesh.
For me, I am only certain that I am in-sync when all of my machines are on, running, and connected to my home network. So if I grab a machine that was not on, or had not synchronized with a shared folder on my network recently, it is entirely possible that I don’t have the latest version of a file I may need to use on the road.
Enter Live Mesh.
It took a couple of minutes to install the Live Mesh client piece on each of my travelling machines, and on the main ones that I use when stationary. From that point, as long as I am connected to the web, anything that is in my Live Mesh has been synchronized and backed up locally. That is pretty transparent. A couple of minutes of setup and then it just seems to be running seamlessly. I can hardly wait until I can connect my Windows Mobile smartphone too.
You can also use Live Mesh Remote Desktop to connect to the devices in your Mesh just in case you need to do something that you can only accomplish on a remote machine. I haven’t tried to do this from a machine running Windows Vista Home Edition, but I have asked some others to try it to see if it will work.
So you may not have a bunch of different Tablet PCs but your usage scenario could be Tablet PC and a desktop. Or maybe you have several different people who need to share files without having to consciously log into a SkyDrive, which also another way to approach this. I encourage you to take a look and see if you can use it.
I am still figuring out different ways to use Live Mesh, Windows Live SkyDrive, Microsoft SharedView, Office Live Workspace and whatever else pops up next. But these seemingly simple tools are changing my workflow and making things simpler. Maybe they can do that for you too.