Microsoft is preparing to take its most ambitious step yet in transforming its personal computer business into one tied more closely to software running in remote data centers, reports John Markoff of The New York Times.

Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief software architect, wrote principles for Live Mesh, its Web-based data storage and software system.

The software giant announced on Tuesday a data storage and Web software system, called Live Mesh, that is intended to blur the distinction between software running on the Windows operating system and an elaborate array of services that will be delivered to a growing


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