Update: The Skybox service, renamed My Phone, is based on technology from Mobicomp, a company Microsoft acquired last June. It has nothing to do with Live Mesh.
It looks like Microsoft is finally ready to roll out the mobile version of Windows Live Mesh, it data syncing service that competes with Apple’s MobileMe (which ran into problems at launch). Live Mesh was first announced last April, and currently only supports Windows PCs and a Webtop in the cloud. Mac and mobile versions are shown to be “coming soon.”
Tom Warren at Neowin reports that Microsoft is set to launch a mobile syncing product called SkyBox at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. This builds on earlier reports based on job postings. SkyBox sounds exactly like Live Mesh (it syncs pictures, calendar, contacts, emails and text messages between your mobile phone and the cloud):
“SkyBox” is a service for users to sync a phones information with the web. Microsoft will be offering automatic backup and restore services, access and management of phone data and provide easy communication and sharing with others. The service will also allow syncing of contacts, email/SMS, calendar items and pictures into the cloud, similar to Apple’s MobileMe. The difference from Apple’s offering is Microsoft could be set to offer this out to non Windows Mobile devices.
Live Mesh seems to be working best with HTC handsets right now. iPhones, Blackberries, Palms, Nokia and Motorola phones all seem to have some issues. Maybe Microsoft can resolve these before SkyBox launches.
In addition to SkyBox, Microsoft is set to launch two other services as well, according to Warren. They are SkyLine (an enterprise version of SkyBox that plays nice with Exchange) and SkyMarket (an app store for Windows Mobile apps). Live Mesh won the Best Technology Innovation prize at this year’s Crunchies.