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Windows Live Mesh goes mobile; Mac version soon

Windows Live Mesh gets a mobile interface, which is just a taste of things to come for the universal sync service. A Mac compatible version is also just around the corner.

Late last week Microsoft quietly released an update to its Live Mesh product to support mobile access. From your phone's Web browser you can access the service via If you're on a Windows Mobile device, or any other phone that supports file system access you can upload files over the Web to your Live Mesh storage--something that's helpful for things like photos taken from your phone's digital camera.

In addition to the file browser, the mobile version of Mesh includes the same news feed functionality that lets you track all the changes to stored files. Missing is an installable client, which is on the horizon and will provide real-time file changes and deeper system integration on supported handsets.

Mesh opened up to everyone late last week. Microsoft's vision of creating a syncing tool for anyone echos Apple's latest online subscription service, MobileMe. The key difference is in price and device support with Apple's solution costing $99 a year and offering deep integration with the iPhone. Incidentally, earlier on Monday, blog LiveSide also got their hands on a pre-beta version of the upcoming Mac client of Live Mesh which has Finder integration but no remote desktop support unlike its Windows cousin.

Microsoft's solution may not be as developed as Apple's (yet), but it will be far more open with eventual support for a multitude of devices with no cost for the end user. Microsoft is expected to unveil a development platform later this year that should let application creators tie in their services for file access and notifications.

Grab files from Mesh on any mobile device, including the iPhone. But sending them to your cloud storage requires a Windows Mobile or Symbian handset. CNET Networks / Josh Lowensohn