Microsoft Mesh

In April I compared how Microsoft’s vision for Software + (Cloud) Services as defined by Ray Ozzie has evolved from 2005 to 2008.

Microsoft recently launched to developers their Mesh initiative that attempts to detach users, files, and applications from both hardware and operating systems through a peer-to-peer cloud-based service.

Nic Cubrilovic at TechCrunchIT has an interesting look at Mesh, its strategic significance and how Microsoft developed it:

“These three markets (desktop PC, web browser and mobile), along with servers, have formed the pillars of Microsoft upon which one of the worlds most profitable companies has been built. In technology applications come and go but the platforms tend to stick – so there is a very methodical process currently taking place within companies such as Adobe, Google, Apple etc. to build the next new web platform. That next new platform will supplant operating systems, browsers and all else and present a uniform interface across devices and systems to both developers and users.

That new platform at Microsoft is called The Mesh, a standards-based P2P network for communication between devices, applications and identities. The network is built around making each node both a client and a server, and running web services between them. The web services are simple, RSS and the Atom Publishing Protocol, with the foundations based on Feedsync, a protocol Ray Ozzie initially developed that added list extensions to RSS. Feeds of feeds are represented in RSS and a protocol similar to OPML, and there is auto-discovery built in, RESTful URL schemas for addressing users, objects and properties and a services discovery protocol.


The open standards and source communities have been developing and discussing similar schemes in the past few years, involving data portability, feed standards and identity standards. The difference with Mesh is that Microsoft has raced ahead and actually built it all. This is an original vision that began in Microsoft with the arrival of Ray Ozzie, and while there are naysayers within Microsoft itself, the open standards and web communities should at least recognize what is being built here and more importantly – how it is being built.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s