Microsoft Corp. announced yesterday the next generation of Windows Live -- an integrated set of online services that make it easier and, ideally, more fun for consumers to communicate and share with the people they care about most. This new generation includes updated experiences for photo sharing, e-mail, instant messaging, as well as integration with multiple third-party sites. The release also includes Windows Live Essentials, free downloadable software that enhances consumers’ Windows experience by helping them simplify and enjoy digital content scattered across their PC, phone and on Web sites.
As we have observed in previous blogs, consumers today are creating online content and sharing it all across the Web. Microsoft believes they are helping to make it simple for the more than 460 million Windows Live customers to keep their friends up to date. So they are partnering with such companies as Flickr, LinkedIn Corp., Pandora Media Inc., and Twitter; to name a few. This collaboration will help to integrate activities on third-party sites into Windows Live through a new profile and What’s New feed. The new Windows Live also gives consumers the added convenience of having a central place to organize and manage information.
As always, this is a grand effort on Microsoft's behalf to benefit itself and its partners/co-horts. However, as with so many of their products, this just may well be a starting point for a more organized system of the various new apps customers are using. The benefits of this for the consumer should be interesting to trackas the usage grows.