While Microsoft’s new Live Mesh system including its MOE (Mesh Operating Environment) infrastructure is of literally mind-boggling importance, the real opportunity that people get from it right now is the chance to see which analysts and analysis firms actually have a clue about technology and which ones just parrot the same items over and over and over.
While a good percentage of top tier analysts (Thurrott,
Scoble, Gillmor and others) get the significance of the underlying architecture, there are quite a few major analysts and firms who didn’t even bother to look at Live Mesh as more than a system for synchronizing files between computers. That’s the equivalent of seeing Windows 1.0 and doing a review of the bundled Microsoft Write applet.
Another group of the clueless insist on comparing Live Mesh with whatever their particular definition of "Web 2.0" happens to be. Of course, Live Mesh doesn’t match their definitions. While "Web 2.0" is the equivalent of replacing the dumb terminals of "Web 1.0" with smart terminals, Live Mesh is the equivalent of replacing dumb terminals with a peer to peer network of personal computers. That they don’t get this means they’re as tied in to the "web as terminal" model as their predecessors were at thinking of the PC as an IBM 327x terminal that could do some local preprocessing.
Really, what coverage of Live Mesh offers today is this:
- If an analyst understands that Live Mesh is a rethinking of how computing can be done in an always-on global network, keep reading them.
- If they think of Live Mesh as just a sync platform for files then they don’t bother doing homework and, if you keep reading them, realize that their analysis may be based on a quick glance rather than in-depth study.
- If they talk about how awful it is that Live Mesh isn’t whatever they consider "Web 2.0" then flip the bozo bit on them and, if you bother reading them again, realize that they’re looking at the world through a strong filter that can’t see change except as minor variations on the world they already know.
So, even for those people who don’t get immediately get into the limited tech preview, Live Mesh offers up something of immediate value. A good litmus test of what analysts to trust. And that’s worth a lot right there.
May 2nd Update: It seems that Scoble, after posting vocally about how cool the Live Mesh platform is has suddenly decided that it won’t work because his latest version of "the cool kids" all use Macs and think Microsoft is bad. I guess he got a lecture from his friends that if he said nice things about Microsoft they wouldn’t let him sit with them at lunch so, with no explanation, he’s now saying Joel on Software gets something. Sad to see how the echo chamber of Silicon Valley works but it’s clearly in action again.
Oh, and in case you need this month’s program, the "cool kids" in the Scoble/Valley universe are now called "Early Adopters" and that’s defined as people who live on Twitter, use Macs and carry iPhones. Of course, last month it was self proclaimed "A Listers" that were the social circle that told Scoble what to think. I guess declaring yourself an "A Lister" was too egocentric even for the valley.