Is “the new set of Internet software” going to put us in control of the information, relationships and interests we care about?
Microsoft announced Tuesday the new Windows Live. Composed of eight services, Windows Live looks a little bit like MSN only with few tune-ups. This fact makes a lot of people from this industry to wonder if Windows Live isn’t just a new name for MSN.
“A lot of the Windows Live services are things that had already been in development by MSN,” Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff said.
Even-tough Microsoft is saying that their new service isn’t just a makeover, there are a lot of similarities that argue their affirmation. For example, the first page of live.com looks a lot like the start.com’s first page. The new Windows Live Mail is the update to Hotmail and the “old” MSN Spaces and OneCare are also mixed here.
One thing is for sure. Windows Live is not the Internet version of Windows, the operating system.
The real novelty is in the technology used by Microsoft, which outlasts Google ,Yahoo and its own MSN. Great features are available specially for interconnectivity Windows Live with the desktop. Sharing files with IM contacts is quite nifty and the live.com service can be used for things like opening recent documents or it can be a corporate SharePortal.
Analysts saluted this enhancements and recognized the superiority over Google and Yahoo. But they criticized the complexity of the website. “I don’t think my mom will be able to use it,” said Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li. For example the gadgets are a little tricky because you have to get a special URL from another site and then other steps that are not so simple have to be followed.
Windows Vista will also use gadgets and the same features available on Windows Live will be available on the sidebar of the operating system.
Microsoft gadgets are “mini applications” (or widgets) that run on the Windows operating system, web sites, and some mobile devices. Core functionality is provided by a widget engine that will be included with Windows Vista and made available as a download for Windows XP.
The messenger will be also enhanced with some new features like social networking and Internet telephony. Microsoft will compete with Skype and Vonage which provides VoIP calling. Sharing folders will also be possible in this new version which will be available from December.
“A lot of people are characterizing this as a response to Google, and in some ways, maybe it is,” Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff said.