Microsoft's latest Windows Live Services will hit 36 languages and 59 countries, informs eWeek. More features have been aded to Windows favorites like Live Hotmail, Messenger and Spaces. Newly launched are services for sharing digital photos, planning and sharing events, publishing to the Web, and staying in touch with people.
Brian Hall, GM of Microsoft's Windows Live business group, said the design of Windows Live focuses on three main things:
- "putting the user at the center
- providing an integrated experience across everything that Microsoft does on this front, and
- bringing the best of the Web to Windows".
Hall, also said, "This is the first release that really pays off on that. It pays off with a suite of Windows applications that not only work well with Windows Live but also work with many other popular online services. You can have your AOL Mail, Gmail and Yahoo MailĂ˘â‚¬â€ťif you have POP accessĂ˘â‚¬â€ťall coming in to one client. We are also releasing support for 64-bit Windows this week. Customers can share photographs from Windows Live Photo Gallery on Flickr, while Writer lets users post and manage their blogs in a rich way from any blog service that supports RSD (Really Simple Discovery), "all of which extends the Windows Live experience to the Web."
Available is a cool feature called "communications dashboard," where Windows users can also get a summary of all their different interaction points with Windows Live.
Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group feels that, even though Windows Live shares similarities with other properties, its advantages lie in three areas:
- the integration of existing popular communications packages (Hotmail and MSN/Windows Messenger),
- a good blog editor (Windows Live Writer), and
- some aggressive family security tools, which could become a differentiator over time given some of the concerns surrounding properties such as MySpace.
Enderle: "With social networks, the power isn't in the technology, it is in the membership. Windows Live is actually a really nice offering, but if the people who you know are using something else, that won't mean much. Microsoft's alliance with Facebook showcases that they are increasingly willing to partner and learn, and I think it is likely that it will be partnerships like Facebook that will better define Microsoft's future in this space."
If you refer to a Harris Interactive study commissioned by Microsoft, this is really beneficial for Live as '61 percent of online consumers find it frustrating to visit multiple Web sites to access the online information they need, with 67 percent of those surveyed saying they would use an all-in-one service with a single user name and password for organizing and managing everything they do online.'
Others complain that the Windows Live e-mail address is too hard, as finding an email address of our own choice is almost impossible. Also, you are likely to encounter the following error during the sign-up process.
All in all, Microsoft has done a good job in integrating all necessary features. Great Work!!