Storage Services Overlap

I would love have the chance to talk to an Exec at Microsoft and say “Make up your mind, find some focus, and make your teams work together”. Microsoft has an issue internally where different teams don’t talk to each other and they come up with different projects that do nearly the same thing. One of the best MVP questions I’ve ever seen asked of Ballmer was this ” You have paint,, photo gallery, image gallery, office photo, picture and fax viewer, picture viewer in Explorer, etc Does Microsoft have any clue or vision about a unified approach to dealing with imaging.” Ballmer pretty much had no answer, because there is no answer. I am starting to see this same thing happen with online storage and file sharing servers. The following are similar but different none linked services that are still out that I have used in the last year:

  • Windows Live Mesh    I use this service to sync files with all of my computers, and my mobile phone. I also use to share files with others online, and gain RDP access to all of the computers that I use configured with Live Mesh.
  • Office Live   Today I installed some Office Live extensions update to Office 2007. This update allows me to save files online to an office live space. I don’t know that I would use this but it might be cool for someone who does not use Live Mesh, or wanted to share files with a coworker.
  • Office Groove   In the past I have used Groove to sync files between members of a team. Groove works well if you don’t care about document control, if you do it sucks.
  • Live SkyDrive    I’ve used Live services SkyDrive to share files with other people when they were too big to email. I gave CL a copy of SQL 2005 when she lost her install Disk via this service.
  • My Phone   Today Microsoft announced My Phone, a service that allows you to sync your Windows Mobile phone with the web. Not long after Microsoft announced this Google announced their own my phone product called Sync. One of the issues with The Groove service is that it uses Active sync, so you cannot use it along side of an Exchange account.

Out of these products Live Mesh is the product that I will use the most, and keep using. I have a computer at work, a terminal server in the cloud, a laptop, and a Windows Mobile phone. These computers are where almost all of my nerd work happens. With Live mesh I have the same files always up-to-date and accessible from all of these devices. As an added HUGE bonus via Live Mesh I can RDP tunnel to any of these machines. This last weekend when I went to be my sauna I had forgotten the guys address on my laptop at home on the couch. With my Windows Mobile phone I connected via RDP to my terminal server, then connected to my laptop via Live Mesh and looked up the address. Then I mapped the address on my phone with live maps; Technology is so grand. I guess I could have called the guy and asked him for his address, but where is the fun and story in that?

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