It all started when I wanted to get a document onto an iPhone. Apple makes this absurdly difficult, so I installed Dropbox, which does cloud synch of up to 2 GB free, more with subscription, across multiple platforms and devices: Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android, iPad and soon Blackberry.
installed dropbox – live mesh but cross-platform and without the hassles?
and got several responses:
Dropbox is brilliant, I sync allsorts with it and use it as main storage on my netbook!
love that service, I couldn’t even get live sync to sign in!
I just updated my dropbox to the 50GB plan. Now have all my stuff synched across 5 macs/pcs + available on my iPhone. Amazing
Now, Microsoft’s Live Mesh appeared in April 2008 and was meant to synch files across Windows, Mac and mobile, though the mobile client never really appeared. It has now been replaced by Windows Live Sync. There’s still no mobile support, not even for Windows mobile.
Dropbox launched publicly in September 2008 and now has a team of 28 people according to the About page – including the very capable Adam Gross formerly of Salesforce.com.
It seems to be an example of Microsoft having a good idea but being unable to deliver. The reason I mentioned “without the hassle” in my tweet is that Live Mesh always required a reboot and occasionally caused problems afterwards in my experience. Dropbox did not.
Ray Ozzie is Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect and seemed to be a key driver behind Live Mesh when it was announced. At one time it seemed that the technology might play a fundamental role in Microsoft’s efforts to unite cloud and device.
You can sign up for Dropbox free here.