Windows Live rooted in MSN's past

by admin November 4, 2005 at 10:23 am

Is Windows Live just another name for MSN?

Of the eight or so services that Microsoft showed off Tuesday at the launch of Windows Live, its new Web-based consumer tools, the vast majority are reincarnations of products that the company had either released or tested under the MSN brand.

“A lot of the Windows Live services are things that had already been in development by MSN,” Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff said.

The main Web page is similar to the page that has been in testing since earlier this year. Windows Live Mail is a long-planned update to Hotmail designed to make the service more like desktop e-mail software. Other existing products, like Microsoft’s MSN Spaces and its OneCare security service, are also joining the Windows Live party.

Windows Live is most certainly not an online version of Microsoft’s venerable operating system, as the name might imply. But the company insists the move is more than a name change.

Indeed, some of the technology that Microsoft demonstrated goes beyond not only what MSN has done, but also what Google and Yahoo have covered in their personalization efforts.

The most striking examples were ways of tying Windows Live to the desktop. On stage, Microsoft showed how people could share file folders with instant-messaging buddies and use the page to view not only Web content, but also things like recently opened documents or a corporate SharePoint portal.

Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li said that some of what Microsoft outlined represented an improvement over the personalization features offered by Yahoo and Google’s services. But she also chided Microsoft over the site’s complexity.

Full article: CNET