Saturday, May 03, 2008

Life within the Live Mesh

Though admittedly not clued in to the depths of the offering, I perceive the April 23rd introduction of Live Mesh (https://www.mesh.com/Welcome/Welcome.aspx) to be one of the first indications of the real impact on Microsoft from Ray Ozzie – Chief Software Architect since June of ‘06. This man (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Ozzie) is the creative mind that brought us Lotus Symphony, Lotus Notes and more recently, Groove Networks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groove_Virtual_Office).

Though Microsoft branded the Groove product after buying it a few years back, it was allowed to languish on the shelf with unclear alternative groupware offerings. Now do we see in Live Mesh a re-envisioning that could truly offer new territory for Microsoft to conquer? Not content to own the corporate and home desktop environment and with less than enthusiastic results in the tablet and handheld PDA market, Microsoft seems to be ready to “manage” and “synchronize” all of our personal data for us.

I can’t help but wonder if the over-zealous pursuit of Yahoo could be related to the same strategy… buying their way in front of one of the largest collection of eyeball-hours on the planet. What a wonderful way to introduce a toolset that offers to help organize our otherwise hopelessly disorganized digital lives!

Mr. Ozzie’s brilliance and vision has produced great products in the past that never quite found the market they deserved. Perhaps married with Microsoft’s marketing muscle and Yahoo’s youthful enthusiasm we will see the right product find the right audience at the right time. It would be refreshing.

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