By Scott Gilbertson

April 24, Wired

Microsoft believes in the cloud. The company has just unveiled an invite-only test of its new Live Mesh service, a "cloud computing" project designed to help you access and share your files from where ever you are.

Live Mesh synchronizes and shares data across multiple machines — currently that means Windows PCs, but look for Windows Mobile as well as Mac OS X support to be added later this year. Mesh offers one-click sharing for desktop folders, remote desktop connections, web-based file access and a news feed to keep track of it all. Eventually Microsoft would like to add Xbox, DVR and other devices to the list of syncing/sharing possibilities.

The project announcement was made by Microsoft Chief Software Architect, Ray Ozzie, who calls the web “the hub of our social mesh.” That's quite a change for Microsoft and represents a significant step away from the desktop. Eventually Microsoft hopes, as Ozzie says, that “social mesh notions of linking, sharing, ranking and tagging will become as familiar as File, Edit and View.”

To interact with your files Live Mesh offers two separate interfaces: the desktop app and the web-based desktop. Regardless of which you’re using, you’ll be able to share, open and edit files via desktop applications just as you would with local files.

Live Mesh will be able to sync your data between PCs and can also share files between multiple users. However the sharing features are hampered by a lack of version control options. For now at least the sharing options are geared more toward the “send Mom some photos” notion of file sharing, rather than document collaboration.

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image by Wired