Microsoft kickstarts the Live brand
Microsoft has just launched Windows Live Spaces, replacing MSN Spaces, its social networking and blogging site which has over 100 million visitors monthly, and offering a substantial facelift and new features. While Microsoft has had a wide suite of Live offerings in Beta for many months now, this is the first Live product that has been launched as a working product on a large scale. Live Messenger is out of Beta, but it has not replaced MSN Messenger, and is for now running in parallel with it. Given the breadth of MSN Spaces’ usage, this launch is the most powerful way Microsoft can kickstart the Live brand, and start gradually moving its array of Live products into the market. Ray Ozzie, now Chief Software Architect at Microsoft, spoke to financial analysts last week about Microsoft’s vision. This is well worth a read, as it provides a coherent view on how committed Microsoft is to web services in the broadest sense. Windows Live is absolutely central to Microsoft’s shift to web services, and the launch of Windows Live Spaces is just the beginning of what will be a major blitz on the Windows Live brand and product suite over the next couple of years.