Microsoft has a new service in beta, called Windows Live. I read about it on CNN.com, and initially I thought it was something like the OS online, and I was all set to say, “Although a couple years ago I hated this idea because of the likelihood of an annual Windows subscription, I’m now ready to embrace the potential here because — as I’ve discussed with Lewis regarding email — I used to want to own stuff on my hardware, but now I realize that I don’t want my data or communications to be tied to one physical location.”
So then I checked out Windows Live. It’s not what I expected. Before I get to that, let me point out that when you load it up in Firefox (obviously), this text appears at the top:
Firefox support is coming soon. Please be patient 🙂
I find it notable that a Microsoft site is promising support for a rival browser right out of the gate. I mean … the promise is right out of the gate. Right.
So really Windows Live seems to be an über-portal. It is not dissimilar to Google’s Personalized Home, with access to email, news, and networked bookmarks, which I have been posting about for (literally) WEEKS!!
Google has to get off their ass and clean up Personalized Home, do more with Bookmarks, and get the RSS reader working — which as Lewis noted, appears to be the first big thing they have completely dropped the ball on.
Finally, this is not the first product Microsoft has offered called Live — Xbox Live has been around for about two years now, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Xbox 360 will feature media integration with standard Windows XP machines, and greater integration with Windows Media Center PCs. I can totally envision a seamless experience that combines Xbox Live and Windows Live whether you are viewing it on your Windows PC or on your TV via your Xbox 360.