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DEVELOPMENT: Doug Berrett hints WebGuide functionality for Windows Live Mesh [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - on Sunday, 29.03.09 - 13:07:00 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 18799x
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If you are a frequent the::unwired reader, you know that I have a real passion for using my Slingbox and WebGuide on my Windows Mobile smartphones since both really spices up my Windows Phones. Since I travel a lot, I'm either missing my favorite TV shows due to other appointments or I'm unable to watch them on hotel TVs because the channel isn't available there. For live TV I'm using my Slingboxes but to schedule a Media Center recording, either from PCs/Notebooks or from Windows Phones, I'm still using WebGuide 4 which is one reason why I haven't upgraded my Microsoft Media Center to the TV Feature Pack or Windows 7 yet because in this case WebGuide would break.

Since Doug Berrett, the developer of WebGuide, has joined Microsoft's Media Center team earlier, there wasn't an update or upgrade released anymore but in a recent interview with, Doug unveiled that a kind of WebGuide functionality might hit Microsoft's Live Mesh service, most potentially as a Silverlight application which again makes me hoping that Silverlight Mobile for Windows Mobile might hit Windows Phones better sooner than later:

Pete Stagman had the chance to speak to Doug Berrett confirmed again that WebGuide will not work on Windows 7 because "the guide data is stored in a different data type and the new WTV format is not supported by WebGuide". Doug followed up by explaining that he gave a demo of what he's working on at PDC, which was an application called "WebGuide Mesh".
Doug explained that WebGuide Mesh is "a working name. I had to come up with something for CEDIA and that was just something they would understand there. The name may change". However, the short demo he gave, which included some guide stuff coming from fake data, clearly showed that the interface looked like the old WebGuide menus and Doug confirmed that WebGuide Mesh could have all the the functionality of the original WebGuide stand-alone application.

However, he made clear that "this is very early in the process and it may all change. We'll have to wait and see what the final version looks like. Right now I can open up mesh while on the road and change a cached schedule to record a program, then when you connect to the net, Mesh will upload the changes and then you will get a confirmation that the program was scheduled. That's all the software does at this point in time".

Definitely an interesting approach to use Live Mesh to connect to a home Windows Media Center. So far, Live Mesh was only used to synchronized user generated documents. And since Live Mesh is also available for Windows Mobile, there might be a good chance that a kind of WebGuide functionality might come back to Windows Phones again, but this time not from an independent third party developer but from Microsoft itself.

UPDATE: Just found the Channel 10 video above which was recorded during the PDC back in November last year. There, Mark Pendergrast, Brendan Grant and Doug Berrett talked about their PDC sessions and how Live Mesh is being integrated with Windows Home Server as well as the above mentioned prototype of WebGuide is demoed.

Cheers ~ Arne

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