I’ve been exploring Windows again, partly from a need to refresh my brain on the inner workings of the operating system as well as to take a little time to test out Vista since it was first released. Its certainly better than it was when it came out but definitely not the best I’ve ever seen.
I think the most positive I’ve ever been towards an operating system when it first came out was either Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) or Windows XP. Not sure which but both stick out in my mind as exceptionally good operating systems.
To get back to the topic, I have been working on a group project with a close friend (also a future full-time Microsoft employee) and we needed to share some files. He suggested Live Mesh, which at first glance looks a lot like Groove. Except that its free and its got a bit of a different slant to it. It appears to be designed more for ad hoc sharing rather than the way Groove works.
However, besides being an easy way to share some files, it actually has a pretty impressive setup. In the future it’ll allow you to sync not just your Windows desktop/laptop but also sync to Mac computers as well as mobile devices. This is all fine and good but the most impressive thing I saw was clean integration of Live Mesh with the Windows Explorer interface and conflict resolution. Conflict resolution is something I tend to group with serious revision control software (ie: bazaar, git, mercurial) but Live Mesh has a pretty decent system setup for these problems.
The web interface for Live Mesh itself is fairly decent as well. Its got a Vista look’n'feel to it and is fairly snappy. Don’t envision myself using it much but its worth mentioning if you ever need to link up to files you shared, you can get them that way.