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Ray Ozzie: Introducing Live Mesh

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In his first Channel9 interview, Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect sits down with Jon Udell to talk about Live Mesh, a new technology and platform that enables synchronization and storage "to the cloud." You'll hear about the history of Live Mesh, how it has been influenced by Ray's previous work on products like Groove and Lotus Notes. Ray also discusses the core technology that forms the basis for Live Mesh including REST APIs, XML, and synchronization APIs that enable you sync your Mesh across multiple devices. 

Low Res version (Transcript)

For more information, go to Mesh.com

For more Live Mesh coverage:
- Watch the demo of the Live Mesh application on Channel 10 
- Watch an interview with Abolade Gbadegesin on Live Mesh Architecture
- Read the transcript and grab the audio from Jon Udell's perspective series.

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  • Zian Choyzian Exploding heads since 1988
    I'm getting a 'System.OutOfMemoryException' at Ch 10.
  • Jeff Sandquistjeffsand Inch by Inch
    We're fixing that right now, a problem with one of our node.  You can see the video here, right now.

    Update: All is well, the cool c10 demo is now at the normal location.

  • Damnit, Firefox 3, Silverlight...

    Watching it in WMP right now though, I'm feeling better with Ray Ozzie at the helm with Microsoft.

    As for Mesh, I can't wait!! This is something that might take off with Microsoft.

    I have high expectations for this new Microsoft.

    My concern how is that we have a lot of remote desktop services from Microsoft.

    Windows Meeting Space, Windows SharedView, Mesh...

    Does the folder syncing traverse firewalls at full speed?
  • Live Mesh really looks like a great product.
    But it really only creates confusion since there are already a bunch of similar MS techs like FolderShare, Folder Sharing in Messenger, SkyDrive, Meeting Space, Remote Desktop, etc.

    Same thing as on the communication front with a bunch of mail clients, IM clients etc.

    Shame that these aren't integrated into a single offering so even inexperienced users could use it. Also even as a power user I getting fed up with having to install many similar apps for a single company just because neither has the full featureset I need.

    From outside it really looks like Microsoft was some sort of sports league and each team inside is competing instead of cooperating.

  • I need some help here. All of a sudden my video streams refuse to work coming from the server at: mms://mschnlnine.wmod.linwd.net ...

    On the other hand, videos from: mms://wm.microsoft.com/ ..... still work  as expected, both through the Silverlight player and Windows Media player.

    I regularly watch channel 9 videos and the majority come from the former server. Now I cant watch because of this problem.

    I've tried everything. Uninstalled and re-installed Silverlight ; went through all the settings of WMP and IE 6 (by the way, I use Win XP SP2), and I am still stomped.

    What could this be? Up until a few days ago, everything was fine.


    Madu
  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    MadRaven wrote:
    
    But it really only creates confusion since there are already a bunch of similar MS techs like FolderShare, Folder Sharing in Messenger, SkyDrive, Meeting Space, Remote Desktop, etc.

    Same thing as on the communication front with a bunch of mail clients, IM clients etc.


    I won't be able to watch the video until I get home in a couple of hours, so maybe this was answered, but yeah, this is what I've been wondering too. Will FolderShare, folder sharing (hee), SkyDrive et cetera eventually all be replaced by Live Mesh? Because currently we have a bunch of services that all do a little bit of what Mesh does, but they don't work together.

    Adding Mesh on top of that will be even more confusing. If Mesh does what all these other tools do, and it does it well, will those other tools get phased out, to avoid confusion and provide a more integrated experience?
  • RichardRudekRichardRudek So what do you expect for nothin'... :P
    I don't know why Dan doesn't post the low res link, [but here it is] 131.6MB.

    I right-click then choose save as file.
  • Ray Ozzie is a terrible speaker, I cant sit to any of his talks (including this one). It is like staring at a blank wall. There is noise, but no content.

    Live Mesh, I am sorry but sticking wings to a fish (and giving him a shiny label), wont make him fly. (apple doesn't fly, their users just believe it does... please dont go there!)

    I miss Bill Gates already. Putting a computer on every desk! Yeah!
    And now: Hey, we are copying your files on any server! Ah, and back again!

    Please give this job, ahm this title, to Scott Guthrie, just because he has no time for big pointless speeches, doesn't mean he doesn't fit the role, it means he is working his behind off for REAL innovation.

    Also: He can talk! (hope he does at PDC)
  • CKurtCKurt while( ( !​succeed=try​() ) ) { }
    Can you add a Windows Live SkyDrive to be a device?

     And why should we need to upload everything to keep it in sync. What If I happen to be on the same lan as the other computer ?

    This is belgium, we have bandwith limits (12GB a month)
  • Dan FernandezDan
    RichardRudek wrote:
    I don't know why Dan doesn't post the low res link, [but here it is] 131.6MB.

    I right-click then choose save as file.


    Fixed.

    I normally don't think to do it for content that's less than half an hour long, but I should probably just do it for all videos I post.
  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up
    Ow please, not that stupid logo again in the corner. Mad
  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    Here's a bunch of questions:

    - The remote desktop through the browser thing. That's available on WHS right now, and while it works great if it works, it doesn't work quite as smoothly as one is led to believe. For instance, you need to install an RDP ActiveX control to be able to use the remote desktop feature in the WHS Remote Access website. When I'm at an internet cafe, I may not be able to install this control. When I'm at a friend's house, I may not wat to install stuff on his PC. Then what?
    Also, I set my machines to sleep when I'm away. Most people power them down entirely. Then what? Will there be a way to wake them up remotely? Again, in WHS, I had to install a 3rd party wake-on-lan addon to even get WoL functionality, and then it's still a chore.  I have to:
    1. Use the remote access website to RDP to the WHS
    2. Open the WHS Console on the server itself
    3. Use the WoL addon in the Console to wake up one of my PC's
    4. Log off of the WHS.
    5. RDP to the computer I just woke.
    That's not very smooth. How will Mesh's remote access features fix that? Will it, for instance, auto-attempt to wake any machine you RDP to?

    - Can I 'meshify' my My Documents folder and automatically sync all my documents and application settings across PC's?
    - Is there or will there be some way to sync my RSS feeds across devices? If I read an RSS feed, I want it to be marked as 'read' on all my devices, not just the one I read it on.
    - What about email? Can I install Windows Live Mail on all my PC's and sync the message store across all PC's, so that I can check my email and read previously downloaded email on any PC? What will happen if I have my email client open on two PC's at the same time? Will it mess up the synch, or will I see emails appearing on my laptop when I download them on my desktop?
    - The 5GB data limit. I understand why you guys are doing this, but I have a WHS that's available from anywhere in the world. I can get as much storage on it as money can buy. Can I choose to have Mesh store it on my WHS rather than in a Microsoft Data Center when it is storing stuff in 'the cloud', without any limits on what I can do? (In other words: can I set it up so that my Live Desktop is actually stored on my WHS rather than in a data center, so that I don't have to deal with the 5GB file limit?)
  • DukeNukem wrote:
    Can you add a Windows Live SkyDrive to be a device?


    I agree, that would start to tie things together.  Amit Mital, GM of Live Mesh, has said it is their intention to add many more devices in the months ahead.
  • The platform does support direct lan syncing. The user experience does not currently allow you to specify what files should go to the cloud and what should not. But it will.
  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    hampycapper wrote:
    The platform does support direct lan syncing. The user experience does not currently allow you to specify what files should go to the cloud and what should not. But it will.


    That sounds good, but rather than tell Mesh what files I want stored where, I think it'd be much better if I was able to tell Mesh that 'the Cloud' is actually 'this remotely accessible folder on my WHS here'. It'd make the thing more seamless, with the bonus of giving me 2TB of cloud storage space, if I want.
  • MadRaven wrote:
    

    Live Mesh really looks like a great product.
    But it really only creates confusion since there are already a bunch of similar MS techs like FolderShare, Folder Sharing in Messenger, SkyDrive, Meeting Space, Remote Desktop, etc.

    Same thing as on the communication front with a bunch of mail clients, IM clients etc.

    Shame that these aren't integrated into a single offering so even inexperienced users could use it.



    Eventually i think this is what will happen, if mesh proves to be a hit, they will phase the others out slowly!
  • Bas wrote:
    Here's a bunch of questions:

    - The remote desktop through the browser thing. That's available on WHS right now, and while it works great if it works, it doesn't work quite as smoothly as one is led to believe. For instance, you need to install an RDP ActiveX control to be able to use the remote desktop feature in the WHS Remote Access website. When I'm at an internet cafe, I may not be able to install this control. When I'm at a friend's house, I may not wat to install stuff on his PC. Then what?

    Live Mesh also uses a control to display the RDP session in the browser.  If someone has figured out how to parse and display RDP in JScript, I am all ears Wink  Not sure there's really any better solution here...

    Bas wrote:

    Also, I set my machines to sleep when I'm away. Most people power them down entirely. Then what? Will there be a way to wake them up remotely? Again, in WHS, I had to install a 3rd party wake-on-lan addon to even get WoL functionality, and then it's still a chore.  I have to:
    1. Use the remote access website to RDP to the WHS
    2. Open the WHS Console on the server itself
    3. Use the WoL addon in the Console to wake up one of my PC's
    4. Log off of the WHS.
    5. RDP to the computer I just woke.
    That's not very smooth. How will Mesh's remote access features fix that? Will it, for instance, auto-attempt to wake any machine you RDP to?

    We don't have wake-on-LAN as part of our client communications platform.  I will make sure that's on the list of things to consider.

    Bas wrote:

    - Can I 'meshify' my My Documents folder and automatically sync all my documents and application settings across PC's?

    Well, I don't think app settings are usually in My Documents?  You can meshify My Docs (as long as you don't have any other Live Mesh Folders already present in the My Docs hierarchy) and it should work, taking into consideration we're still in Tech Preview.  App settings are harder, since some apps open their settings files for r/w access for the lifetime of the app, and some apps don't store settings in the filesystem at all.

    Bas wrote:

    - Is there or will there be some way to sync my RSS feeds across devices? If I read an RSS feed, I want it to be marked as 'read' on all my devices, not just the one I read it on.

    The platform certainly supports this, if an app wants to implement this kind of functionality.

    Bas wrote:

    - What about email? Can I install Windows Live Mail on all my PC's and sync the message store across all PC's, so that I can check my email and read previously downloaded email on any PC? What will happen if I have my email client open on two PC's at the same time? Will it mess up the synch, or will I see emails appearing on my laptop when I download them on my desktop?

    Email is one of those file types that's hard to synch today when you're dealing with a monolithic PST or OST file.  Apps can certainly write to Live Mesh platform to enable great roaming of your email experience, but that will happen over time (once the platform is available.)

    Bas wrote:

    - The 5GB data limit. I understand why you guys are doing this, but I have a WHS that's available from anywhere in the world. I can get as much storage on it as money can buy. Can I choose to have Mesh store it on my WHS rather than in a Microsoft Data Center when it is storing stuff in 'the cloud', without any limits on what I can do? (In other words: can I set it up so that my Live Desktop is actually stored on my WHS rather than in a data center, so that I don't have to deal with the 5GB file limit?)

    Yes, using WHS as your own personal cloud storage is a popular request, and one that we are looking into.  The platform is certainly designed to support multiple, federated storage servcies.

    -Jeremy, a PM on the Live Mesh team.
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    Bas wrote:
    
    hampycapper wrote:
    The platform does support direct lan syncing. The user experience does not currently allow you to specify what files should go to the cloud and what should not. But it will.


    That sounds good, but rather than tell Mesh what files I want stored where, I think it'd be much better if I was able to tell Mesh that 'the Cloud' is actually 'this remotely accessible folder on my WHS here'. It'd make the thing more seamless, with the bonus of giving me 2TB of cloud storage space, if I want.


    I think in another MS reply you can do that.  After the 5GB is full, it will go direct Peer-to-Peer for file transfer and the cloud will not get new files, but I think it will "see" them.  But not sure.  The mesh folder *is your WHS folder in the cloud - virtualized.
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    jmazner wrote:


    Bas wrote:

    - What about email? Can I install Windows Live Mail on all my PC's and sync the message store across all PC's, so that I can check my email and read previously downloaded email on any PC? What will happen if I have my email client open on two PC's at the same time? Will it mess up the synch, or will I see emails appearing on my laptop when I download them on my desktop?

    Email is one of those file types that's hard to synch today when you're dealing with a monolithic PST or OST file.  Apps can certainly write to Live Mesh platform to enable great roaming of your email experience, but that will happen over time (once the platform is available.)


    Actually, I was thinking a new email client "sample" would be a very interesting use case.  If you started with the old school method of using files as messages instead of a single file DB, you could create a pretty nice email solution that syncs with all devices.  Tasks could be 1 feed, email another, and calender another, etc.  In fact, you could craft SqlServiceBroker or other queue on top of a feed to abstract the feeds from the app.  Could also craft a CCR Port ontop of a feed. 

    And...If you used the feeds as a *transaction folder, the app could still use its' local DB, but just update itself using the "transactions" from the feeds. This would be just another level of indirection.  That would be a fun and powerful solution to build.

    You could also have private email Circles (spam free) with only members you allowed in the circle.  And multiple Circles (i.e. work, friends, etc)  Very interesting indeed...
  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    jmazner wrote:
    Live Mesh also uses a control to display the RDP session in the browser.  If someone has figured out how to parse and display RDP in JScript, I am all ears   Not sure there's really any better solution here...


    Well, there was that guy who wrote Lemmings in DHTML... Maybe you can learn from him. Tongue Out

    No, but seriously, that's probably unavoidable, yeah. It's not a big deal, just something that hit me a couple of times with WHS, but there's probably no way around it.


    jmazner wrote:

    We don't have wake-on-LAN as part of our client communications platform.  I will make sure that's on the list of things to consider.


    That's the biggest omission from the WHS Console, IMHO. (And remote access website, by the way. I cannot stress the importance of being able to do it via a browser as well enough.)
    It's easy to use an addon that allows for WOL functionality, but it's not exactly a smooth process in use. If the 'remotely connect to this PC' button (or whatever it is called) just automatically sent a WOL packet to the PC regardless of wether it supports WOL or not, you'd be there. It doesn't even have to be visible to the end user.

    Thanks for considering it!


    jmazner wrote:
    Well, I don't think app settings are usually in My Documents? 

     
    Correct, my mistake. I meant the user's profile in \Documents and Settings or \Users, which has Local Settings and AppData folders. But I'm now thinking that it's probably a nightmare to sync that and not run into unpredictable problems on various devices, so scratch that.

    jmazner wrote:

    Email is one of those file types that's hard to synch today when you're dealing with a monolithic PST or OST file.  Apps can certainly write to Live Mesh platform to enable great roaming of your email experience, but that will happen over time (once the platform is available.)


    Interesting. But if I understand this correctly, Windows Live Mail, which, if I'm not mistaken, uses lots of small files for each email rather than one huge PST, would lend it self more easily to Meshing?

    And let's hope that the Outlook team (and the entire Windows 7 Apps team, for that matter), is primed and ready to support this ASAP. Tongue Out

    jmazner wrote:

    Yes, using WHS as your own personal cloud storage is a popular request, and one that we are looking into.  The platform is certainly designed to support multiple, federated storage servcies.


    Excellent.

    Thanks for the replies, Jeremy!
  • Bas wrote:
    

    jmazner wrote:

    We don't have wake-on-LAN as part of our client communications platform.  I will make sure that's on the list of things to consider.


    That's the biggest omission from the WHS Console, IMHO. (And remote access website, by the way. I cannot stress the importance of being able to do it via a browser as well enough.)
    It's easy to use an addon that allows for WOL functionality, but it's not exactly a smooth process in use. If the 'remotely connect to this PC' button (or whatever it is called) just automatically sent a WOL packet to the PC regardless of wether it supports WOL or not, you'd be there. It doesn't even have to be visible to the end user.

    Thanks for considering it!


    The suggestion is now officialy filed Smiley

    This is not a trivial thing to get right, however.  One of the keys to our software working behind NATs and firewalls is that our communications sessions are established by the client doing an HTTP GET to the server (to a special notification queue URL.)  The server can then send any important information back to the client as a response to that GET.  (the idea being it's much more reliable for the client to connect to the cloud than for the cloud to connect to the client)

    When you click "Connect" to a remote device, that device sends an invite to the cloud, and then the cloud sends word of the invite through that notification queue.

    If the remote client is asleep, it can't keep the HTTP connection open.  So now the cloud has to figure out how to send a WOL packet to this machine that might be well hidden behind a NAT.

    I'm not a networking guy by any means, so maybe there's a well established way to do this...but it sounds tricky to me, and in any event would be a different approach to remote connectivity than what we have built for the technology preview.

    cheers,
    j
  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    jmazner wrote:
    
    The suggestion is now officialy filed


    w00t! God bless Channel 9.



    jmazner wrote:
    
    This is not a trivial thing to get right, however. 
    j


    Yeah, I should probably point out that I used the words "just automatically send a WOL packet" with blatant disregard for or knowledge about the intricacies of how everything actually works. Tongue Out

    But even if there was some awareness to the fact that the device may not always be on and might be able to be woken up, that would be great. Currently the remote access features of WHS just assume that all your PC's are on, and pretend tat WOL doesn't exist. I'm not expecting you guys to be able to power up my Zune at home while I'm on the other side of the Atlantic, but even if WOL-features were limited to just the local network, that would be incredibly convenient.

    Maybe it'd even be possible to send just an HTTP request to a machine that is online (like my WHS), and have that machine send the WOL packet to the sleeping device. That way the WOL-packet-sending-magic would only need to happen inside the LAN. But again, I have no idea how everything works, just what I want to see happen.

    Anyway, thanks again!
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    Bas wrote:
    
    jmazner wrote:
    
    The suggestion is now officialy filed


    w00t! God bless Channel 9.



    jmazner wrote:
    
    This is not a trivial thing to get right, however. 
    j


    Yeah, I should probably point out that I used the words "just automatically send a WOL packet" with blatant disregard for or knowledge about the intricacies of how everything actually works.

    But even if there was some awareness to the fact that the device may not always be on and might be able to be woken up, that would be great. Currently the remote access features of WHS just assume that all your PC's are on, and pretend tat WOL doesn't exist. I'm not expecting you guys to be able to power up my Zune at home while I'm on the other side of the Atlantic, but even if WOL-features were limited to just the local network, that would be incredibly convenient.

    Maybe it'd even be possible to send just an HTTP request to a machine that is online (like my WHS), and have that machine send the WOL packet to the sleeping device. That way the WOL-packet-sending-magic would only need to happen inside the LAN. But again, I have no idea how everything works, just what I want to see happen.

    Anyway, thanks again!


    I am no WOL expert either.  However, am a network guy.  IMO, this should be handled completely by WOL and hw/driver pair sending wake up event to OS.  So really, an app should not need any explicit knowledge of WOL packets, etc.  If mesh client holds a socket open to server, WOL should wake up OS when any reply returns on socket.  Some of the ack (and possibly other stuff) could be offloaded to the card to prevent some of the wake up ping-pong. 

    In general, however, power management and this kind of hosting support are at odds with each other and one needs to find their own balance based on needs.  Needs of low power devices will most likely drive a good solution.
  • Does Live Mesh support Teredo? I thought MS's approach to outside-in access for consumers was via Teredo?

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