Microsoft has taken a page from Google and Yahoo with its web based search, email, and feed aggregating web based application, Windows Live. After a quick run through, Windows Live will be a breath of fresh air for the MSN family, as MSN’s network has become overrun with display advertising and obvious product placement, especially in Hotmail, which is a direct opposite of the cleanliness of Google, or the hybrid of select display and sponsored links in the Yahoo Search and Media Network.
With the integration of contextual advertising in Windows Live via their current Yahoo Search Marketing partnership and direct contextual, local and search targeted advertising via the MSN AdCenter; monetization of Windows Live should be less cluttered and more transparent as such an approach has worked for Google’s GMail and multiple Yahoo offerings. Beyond search and mail, Microsoft Live is also following its new Google-esque direction of technology complimented by simplicity with an upgraded Windows Live Messenger (even sending invites to MSN Spaces members in a similar fashion which Google used in its Gmail Invite campaign for Blogger.com users) and plans to add new versions of other popular web applications to the Windows Live mosaic.
With the launch of Windows Live, however, Microsoft did for get about 12% of web users and opinion leaders, as the Live.com site is not Mozilla Firefox friendly. Microsoft has addressed the non-capatibility with Firefox on the Live.com site : Firefox Users Firefox support is coming soon. Please be patient. But for some loyal Firefox users, the notion of Microsoft ignoring them, is enough not to visit Windows Live again. Not a good move by Microsoft. We’ve turned to the blogosphere and searchosphere for some honest reviews and insight into the Windows Live offering.
Windows Live Messenger 8 from Alan : Being crazy with beta softwares, I’ve just installed the Windows Live Messenger beta. (MSN Messenger 8 ppl!) This is a closed beta now. That means you will be blocked by the server if you are not a beta tester on their database. (What the Live messenger team used to call butterflies).
The Live messenger spot a complete makeover compared to MSN Messenger 7.5. I tested 7.5 and 7 when they were in beta too. But this live messenger is nice. I like the functions like the capability to select favorite color for the conversation window and contact window. Besides that, it will also automatically add in your Hotmail contacts into messenger and send them messages directly from Windows Live messenger. (Unified contacts) Besides that, at the sign in screen. Other than having functions to remember your username and password, there is also a function to forget me. This is good if you are on a shared computer….
Another function is word wheel. Just type in the contact name and as you type 1 letter, the list will shorten to those contact whose nick name start with the alphabets..nice Well, something to add to this is that although I’m excited by this Windows Live Messenger beta. (I’m sure u too.) I will have to caution that you use it at your own risk. Because some mod required to access the beta and of course the beta is not supported by Microsoft.
Windows Live Safety Center from Canadian Hawk : Windows Live Safety Center’s Full service scan has 2 modes of scanning for system issues. The Complete scan checks for Viruses, Wasted disk space, Maintenance issues, Common open ports and can be customized. The Quick scan checks for Viruses in specific areas on your computer and is faster then the complete scan.
It’s a pretty cool program on the safety site. It does seem to take a long time to scan .iso’s, even if they are smaller files. It scans all other file types really fast.
Jim Hedger on comparisons of Windows Live to Google Homepage : [The] quiet but deliberate unveiling of Microsoft’s Windows Live marked the true beginning of a new phase in Internet development as the software giant follows rival Google in presenting a host of online services and server side software for registered users. One giant following another through a virgin forest will certainly open a very wide path for others to follow.
In a nutshell, Windows Live has copied Google’s personalized search portal ( google.com/ig ) though its layout and functionality is very much different. Oddly enough, the release and functionality of Windows Live is not in itself an important milestone. Their contribution to Revolution 2.1 is the adoption of a user and/or group influenced personalization of information retrieval by the major search entities. Being the second to offer registered users the ability to create their own info-portal home page, Microsoft is pretty much ensuring that, assuming users go for it; others will follow the model in the future.
Windows Live Unified Contacts and Screenshots from Overdo : Unified Contacts is a new feature of Windows Live Messenger that combines your Hotmail address book with your Windows Live Messenger contact list. Unified Contacts makes it easy to interact with all the people that are important to you using Windows Live Messenger, even if you don’t have an Instant Messaging address for them. In Windows Live Messenger, contacts from your address book automatically show up in your contact list with a grey contact card icon next to their name. They cannot see your status and you cannot instant message with them. You can add and edit address book contacts in Windows Live Messenger, including entering a birthday or phone number. If you have the appropriate information entered, you can email and call these contacts using Windows Live Messenger.