Some weeks ago there was MIX10 in Vegas with several interesting topics. I was inspired by the Windows Phone 7 developer experience with Silverlight and OData as open protocol for delivering collections of data as feed in the browser. There were other great sessions as well, but I missed one big thing: Live Mesh and the former Live Framework (R.I.P.) as developer portion of it.
It has been very quiet around Live Mesh (a.k.a. Windows Live Devices) in the last months. Celebrated as rock star on PDC08 and honored with several awards Live Mesh is one beautiful example of how Microsoft is unable to place great products with huge potential on the market. News on it are missing for quite a while now and developers are confused by the sudden death of the Live Framework. At this time one fact remains: Live Mesh will be part of the Windows Live Wave 4 as Windows Live Devices, but that’s it. After getting no real news on the PDC09 regarding Live Mesh and the Live Framework many people thought the MIX10 would set the stage for the new Windows Live Wave 4. I know 3 sources of people at Microsoft who were pointing to MIX10 as well when speaking about Live Mesh and the Live Framework. But their signs were wrong and again developers get disappointed. MIX10 brought not one session or info about Live Wave 4 / Live Mesh / Live Framework and that’s a shame.
I don’t know what Microsoft is planning. I don’t know when news on the Live stuff will be published. I don’t know why there are no updates on this hot topic. I don’t know where this will end. But I know and believe that Microsoft wastes the huge potential of a great developer and end user platform which could have been used as central environment of data, apps and people surrounding all devices. The bits that have been published with the Live Framework CTP on PDC08 were great and fun to use, but they have been cut off. I just can repeat it: Microsoft is really good in wasting potential…
At the end of 2008 and at the beginning of 2009 I was really fascinated about the Live Services, Live Framework and Live Mesh. And I was so enthusiastic that I spread it around in some blog posts and one magazine article. I really liked the basic idea, the platform and (already in CTP state) the development tools. And I saw a huge potential in building social applications that can be synchronized, shared, run online or offline on many devices and last but not least are easily developed, by giving us as developers a platform that we can easily leverage and where we can concentrate on our business/application logic.
Then things became quiet at Microsoft and everybody was wondering about the future directions of the Live Framework…
On September 8th the Live Framework CTP was shutdown by Microsoft… rest in peace! This made me really angry. The developer pieces were great and fun to use. And now everything was over, nobody could write applications for the Live Framework any longer or even use their already existing code bases… I just thought: what happened to Microsoft to take this great platform offline and to carry this huge potential to grave?
When announcing the shutdown of the Live Framework CTP the guys at Microsoft said as well that they will make the Live Framework/Services part of Windows Live and that news on it will come on PDC09.
Now there was the PDC last week. But where was Live Mesh or the Live Framework? It was something so huge on the last PDC and there have been really impressive showcases, but this year’s PDC lacked information about it nearly completely. There was just one session (CL26) on the whole topic: Live Framework – Present and Future. But this session was disappointing as well. It seems that the Microsofties themselves don’t know what future direction the Live Framework will take. Two announcements were made, but only in a more-or-less inofficial fashion:
- Mesh technologies will be part of the next release of Windows Live.
- Mesh technologies will be fundamental for some Windows Live applications.
That’s it. The spirit to build a great platform has gone, at least I don’t feel anything left of it…
Just one demo has been shown, but this was disappointing as well: something like a Live Framework with synchronization capabilities, but everything is stored in folders and files on the filesystem and there seems to be no logical unit of data any more (besides those physical files/folders). What are you making there guys?
Mary-Jo Foley asked Ray Ozzie for Live Mesh at the PDC09. He said news on Live Mesh will be published at MIX 2010 respectively in spring 2010. Until then: I’m still very confused and sad about the current situation and developments on this topic at Microsoft. It seems that those guys haven’t understood the potential and once again they haven’t understood the community and the customer’s needs!