Microsoft is gearing up to take on Apple's MobileMe with a Mac version of its Live Mesh file synching service, with beta copies now undergoing testing.
Live Mesh is a Software Plus Service application that can be used to sync files between PCs and store files in a Microsoft "Cloud" server. The Mac version will be able to sync files between Macs, PCs and Windows Mobile devices (although it will not be able to sync files with the iPhone).
The announcement was made at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) and Microsoft's Ian Moulster, Windows Live Commercial Lead explained to Macworld how it works: "At mesh.com you have the Live Desktop which is a Web based storage space containing folders. On your computer, you can right-click on a file and select 'add to my mesh'. After a few seconds the folder will turn blue to signify that it's been added to your Mesh". From here it is pushed out to all the other computers on the Mesh network. In that sense Live Mesh is like iDisk, but rather having the single iDisk folder it works throughout your Mac and PC's file system, syncing up multiple folders and containing your information online.
When you open a Live Mesh folder it will have attached to it a new pane on the right hand side that has some information about the activity file (when and who last updated the file, comments, and status of devices).
Unlike MobileMe, Live Mesh for Mac is not designed specifically to sync data from Apple's applications (Mail, Address Book) between computers. Instead, it is designed to share the files in The Finder, so it is possible to Sync up the files that support applications (such as Address Book's).
"You could certainly build a MobileMe type application using Mesh, but you couldn't build Mesh using MobileMe." Said Ian Moulster "This is a development platform and we are expecting other people to build upon it". He continued: "We're expecting 3,000 attendees to start doing something with Live Mesh" so a Mac syncing solution over Live Mesh is extremely likely.
This story, "Microsoft Reveals Live Mesh for Mac" was originally published by Macworld U.K..