Thursday, April 24, 2008

Don't Mesh Me Up Baby!

OK, so Microsoft announced their new thing Live Mesh. Live Mesh is basically a program (Windows only for now) that will allow you to synch files from your desktop to the Internet, and also - here's the "Live" part - open up a terminal service to another PC.

Oh goodie! Yet ANOTHER f**ked up strategy for online backup. Just what the world was waiting for.

I mean, you already have unlimited, free, cross platform storage from Google. You have a whole cadre of automated "cloud" backup solutions including Carbonite and Mozy, you have a nascent set of frameworks for creating (and synching) data from your local store to the cloud in Google Gears and AIR... and NOW, FINALLY, we have yet another way to use the cutting-edge technology of TERMINAL SERVICES.


I get that Microsoft is really scared of "the Internet" and of the free alternatives to its Office franchise, and the free alternatives to it's development platform and languages, and the growing cries of "Vista sucks" from all corners of the world.

But, really - terminal services and synch?

The idea is a generally OK - have one place to put a bunch of stuff, and be able to access it from a variety of devices - other computers, mobile devices, etc. But of course, that doesn't work at the moment in the limited (10,000 people) closed tests they're doing now. Plus, requiring IE and Active-X controls in the browser to get the functionality just plain sucks ass. This is 2008! Really. Not kidding.

I know that there will be some people who find it incredibly useful, and no doubt a bunch of developers who have already drunk the Microsoft KoolAid® will scurry to add the feature to their offerings.

Packaging aside, there are many free/open source ways to accomplish the same thing right now today - and we'll just see more of them as time goes on.

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