I’m sure many of you are wondering why I’ve been touting Live Mesh, but haven’t mentioned LogMeIn. And, you have a point; Live Mesh was created as a direct response to LogMeIn.
Well, there are a few reasons. First, and foremost, Live Mesh is really the first tech preview that the public can see, for Windows 7. From interface to targeted features, Live Mesh is a taste of things to come.
What’s so Windows 7 about Live Mesh? Let’s start with the interface. Gone is the constant reliance on glass-style graphics. In fact, even when using it with Vista, Live Mesh doesn’t use a drop of glass. Next up, is Windows Live is now actually part of the Windows platform. It’s not some array of me-too features to answer Google. Actually, Live Mesh doesn’t touch one of Google’s features. But, the point is, Live Mesh will be pre-installed on every Windows 7 system (along with all the other Windows Live suite apps).
And, then there’s the cloud. Windows Live Desktop (part of Live Mesh) is the first version of Windows that exists purely online. From the server, to the AJAX graphics being drawn, it’s all Windows. So, will you someday boot Linux and log into Windows online? Probably not, but Microsoft wants your desktop to be portable… and Live Desktop is building that infastructure.
Finally, Live Mesh is updated dynamically. There’s no “CP1, RC0, RC1, RC2, RTM, SP1, SP2… yadda yadda”. They’re using version numbers and releasing automatically. It’s almost like, dare I say, a Mac.
Did I mention that Live Mesh is coming to Mac (eventually)? Microsoft is following Apple’s lead, and is going to match apps on multiple platforms. Silverlight started this, but Expression apps and Live apps are going to continue that commitment.
So, as you can see, LogMeIn and Live Mesh are similar feature-wise. However, the goals and promise for the apps are on completely different parallels. Live Mesh shows the future of Windows, and that future actually isn’t pointing towards a quiet drift into the night.
And yeah, I do use LogMeIn alongside Live Mesh. I find LogMeIn to be better in terms of cross-platforming, but Live Mesh has the better growth potential. Oh, and when you’re using two Windows machines… Live Mesh works much better too.
First off, Chris – thanks so much for getting me the invite to Live Mesh. I’ve been using LogMeIn for a long time (especially to my “Beyond TV” HTPC) and so it’s nice to have both for comparison purposes.
Live Mesh – I like the automatic updating. I like the folder share, but I haven’t used it – because I have an 8GB flash drive. I don’t see the benefits of waiting for files to upload/download. Having said that – I left a file on my home desktop that I needed at work one day. I opened up Live Mesh, dragged the file from my home desktop and dropped it on my work laptop desktop – BAM. Done. It was sick.
LogMeIn – It just works. Always. Every time. Except when logmein.com is blocked from my job with a really rude and scary message. Also, LogmeIn is always claiming my Firefox plug-in is out of date. I don’t understand how this could be.
Here’s what I want/am missing – a good remote desktop solution for a Windows Mobile device (and even an iPod Touch/iPhone). Yes, I know there’s Remote Desktop for Windows Mobile, but I have Vista Home and XP Home. (I do have Vista Ultimate but I’m not going to install it just for that). I think Windows Mobile should have some sort of remote control desktop aspect that’s fast, works well, and doesn’t slow the device to a crawl. I currently use “Sailing Clicker” as a “touchpad mouse” for my HTPC, which is OK. But this comment isn’t about Sailing Clicker (haha).
Chris – keep up the great writing. I actually have a question about Windows Mobile and WMWiFiRouter – I’ll email you. Thank you sir.
I did forget to mention that there is one instance of Live Mesh using glass effects. In a Live Mesh Remote Desktop session, the “connected to” prompt does use glass effects.
However, this is consistent with Windows 7, which will dramatically cut back on glass effects… so that they stand out more when used.
I do suspect that both Live Mesh and LogMeIn will begin launching access clients on a broad range of platforms (probably including iPhone). This is where LogMeIn has a key advantage, thanks to using open-sourced VNC technology. They can buy up existing VNC ports and use that core code to power a LogMeIn client for these mobile devices.
LogMeIn already has a beta for Nokia Maemo tablets… for example.
Performance – this is something that Mesh has still to catch on LogMeIn. its painfully slow.
I completed a 2nd login using LogMeIn to the remote (home) computer before Mesh finished its login procedure.
Then I saw the remote screen side-by-side. any change appears in LogMeIn, and only 2-3 seconds later on Mesh. Also, Mesh doesn’t “aggregate” the changes – you see them flicker fast, instead showing just the final view…