Microsoft Live Mesh Device Syncing Hub Goes Private Beta

Microsoft's Live Mesh is designed to share data between all your computing devices using the net as a hub, and it's just gone private beta. So about 10,000 of you have the opportunity to join up to this "cloud computing" beta, and see how easy it is to port data between your cellphone, PDA, work computer, home PC — basically any device that supports Windows.

Mesh lets you set up a sort of virtual desktop, and any files in a Mesh folder will be available to any device hooked up to that virtual hub: your photos stored at home can be browsed by your PDA, or a document shared between colleagues at work. Ultimately, photos snapped by your cellphone may be able to pop up on a remote digital photo frame an instant later, shared via the Mesh.

The principle behind Live Mesh is to replace the concept of "My Computer" with an agglomeration of all of your devices. Or, as chief software architect Ray Ozzie says, with a dash of tech-philosophy: "a personal mesh of devices - a means by which all of your devices are brought together, managed through the web, as a seamless whole."

The private beta is US only, limited to about 10,000 persons, and works only with PCs running XP or Vista. Microsoft will be expanding support to Apple computers and other mobile phones through the year, and opening a public beta before 2009. [Reuters and Tech Crunch]