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Windows Live Alerts
Confused what Microsoft’s Windows Live is — and isn’t? This gallery is designed to help demystify Microsoft software services initiative, as well as to capture for posterity the rapidly changing Live family.
It is easier to show than tell what Microsoft’s Windows Live is — and isn’t. Here are as many screenshots as I could round up of some of the shipping, beta and still-officially unacknowledged set of Microsoft software services known as “Windows Live.” Because Microsoft is in the midst of a rebranding campaign and strategy shift in the Live space, any of these services could disappear at a moment’s notice. You’ve been warned.
First up: Windows Live Alerts. Still in beta, this free instant-notification service is currently free and available in the U.S., Canada and China only.
“However, some content providers may charge for using their content with our service. Wireless service charges may apply for receiving or replying to alerts on wireless devices. Check your wireless service plan for details,” Microsoft cautions testers.
Windows Live Book Search
Windows Live Book Search: Still in beta — and, like 99 percent of non-shipping Live services, with no announced ship target — Book Search is an online search tool for books. Yep, just like Google Book Search. Except from Microsoft.
Windows Live Clipboard
Windows Live Clipboard: Almost a year ago, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie showed off his concept for copying and pasting structured information from one website and/or device to another. Developers have dabbled with some sample Live Clipboard code, but there’ve been no new prnouncements from Microsoft on the Clipboard for months.
Windows Live Custom Domains
I’m not even going to attempt explaining Windows Live Custom Domains in my own words. Here’s how Microsoft describes the currently available service:
rnrn”Easily create custom Windows Live accounts in your domain that work with Windows Live and MSN services – for Free!”
Windows Live Favorites
In Microsoft lingo, Windows Live Favorites are simply the portable version of your Web site bookmarks. Favorites can run inside other Live services and/or be stored as a Live gadget. rnrnCredit: Microsoft
Windows Live Feeds
Windows Live Feeds is the RSS syndication functionality for Live.com — and other “offline” products. Niall Kennedy, who headed the Live Feeds project, quit Microsoft in frustration last year, so no word on what’s next (if anything) on the Live Feeds front.
Windows Live for TV
Still in very early beta, Windows Live for TV is “a rich, graphically-driven interface designed for people who use Windows Live Spaces and Messenger and Live Call on large-screen monitors and TVs,” according to Microsoft’s explanation.
rnrn(This technology has gone through a few codenames already, including “Nemo” and, more recently, “Orbit.”)
Windows Live Gallery
Windows Live Gallery is more of a destination than a service. Still marked as “beta,” the site houses gadgets for Windows Live services, as well as Windows itself, plus a variety of macros from Microsoft and third-parties.
Windows Live Hotmail
Windows Live Hotmail is Microsoft’s Web-based e-mail service formerly known as MSN Hotmail, then Windows Live Mail (as well as a few other things somewhere in between.
rnrnWhen Microsoft finally moves from “beta” to “final” with this service, all old-school Hotmail users, plus the new Windows Live Mail ones are supposed to end up on the same page (and back-end infrastructure).
rnrn(The codename of Windows Live Hotmail was/is “Kahuna.”)
Windows Live Local
Windows Live Local is a mash-up (sorry — tried to avoid using that word as much as possible) of online mapping and local search.
rnrn(I think Virtual Earth may fit in here. Or is that now known as Windows Live Maps? Not totally sure.)
Windows Live Mail Desktop
Windows Live Mail Desktop (or, WLMD, for short) is basically Outlook Express in Live clothing. Rumor has it that Microsoft is about to rename WMLD “Windows Live Outlook Express” (Noooo!).
rnrn(At one point, WLMD was known as “Windows Live Mail Center,” according to the LiveSide.Net posse. But “centers” seem to have fallen out of style among the Live branders.)
Windows Live Mail for Windows Mobile
Why is this version of Web mail for devices named “Windows Live Mail for Windows Mobile” instead of “Windows Live Hotmail for Windows Mobile”? I’m guessing it’s simply because Microsoft can’t keep up with its own Windows Live rebranding.
rnrnWhatever you call it, this service is part of the “Windows Live for Windows Mobile” family of services.
Windows Live Messenger
Windows Live Messenger is the updated and rebranded version of Microsoft’s MSN Messenger instant-messaging service. Plain and simple.
Windows Live Messenger for Windows Mobile
Windows Live Messenger for Windows Mobile: A long name for a simple concept. This is the version of Microsoft’s consumer instant-messaging program for mobile devices. Live Messenger for Mobile is part of Microsoft’s Live for Mobile family of services.
rnrn(This is the product that is/was codenamed “G2.”)
Windows Live OneCare
Windows Live OneCare is Microsoft’s paid all-in-one backup and security service for consumers and small businesses.
rnrn(OneCare was, at one time, codenamed “A1,” like the steak sauce made from everything but the kitchen sink.)
Windows Live OneCare Family Safety
Windows Live OneCare Family Safety is a parental-controls service designed to complement the parental controls built into Windows Vista.
rnrn(This service, at one time, had the word “settings” at the end of its name. It also was/is codenamed “Vegas.” I think.)
Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner
Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner is another member of the OneCare family of services. It is designed, in Microsoft’s words, to “find and fix safety and performance issues on your PC for free online.”
Windows Live Product Search
A service joined at the hip with Windows Live Product Upload, Windows Live Product Search is designed to allow surfers to find info on products stored in a centralized Windows Live database.
Windows Live Product Upload
An online catalog service, Windows Live Product Upload is aimed at consumers and small businesses who want to sell their wares on the Web.
rnrnThis service is closely aligned (not surprisingly) to Windows Live Product Search.
rnrn(Windows Live Product Upload was/is codenamed “Agora,” as in marketplace.)
(Windows) Live Search for Windows Mobile
Live Search for Windows Mobile (not WIndows Live Search for Windows Mobile, as an astute reader pointed out) is the Live Search capability ported over to mobile devices.
rnrnLive Search for Mobile is part of Microsoft’s group of services known as “Windows Live for Mobile.” Others in the family include Windows Live Messenger for Windows Mobile; Windows Live Expo for Windows Mobile; and Windows Live Messenger for Windows Mobile. Yes, their names would fill the entire screen real estate available to them.
Windows Live Shopping
Windows Live Shopping, the serice formerly known as MSN Shopping, is Microsoft’s self-proclaimed “Web 2.0 shopping experience” built on “100 percent AJAX technology.”
Windows Live Toolbar
If you know Google Toolbar, you know Windows Live Toolbar. It’s an all-in-one downloadable placeholder for Windows Live search, desktop search, anti-phishing and other Live services.
rnrn Credit: Microsoft
Windows Live Voice Mail
A feature of beta versions of Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Voice Mail is designed to allow users to leave and retrieve voice mail clips inside the aforementioned Live services.
Soapbox on MSN Video
No “Windows” or “Live” in its product name — at least for now — Soapbox on MSN Video is Microsoft’s answer to YouTube. The service is in beta for now.
The Live team’s worst-kept secret, Windows LiveDrive is going to be Microsoft’s storage cloud in the sky. It will take the form of a storage service and associated set of storage APIs. No word on when Microsoft will finally go “live” with it, however.
Windows Search 4
Windows Search 4 is still not in public beta. It might as well be, for how many incarnations and codenames this service already has been through.
Known at various times as the “Windows Search application,” “Windows Search Center,” “Windows Search Preview,” “Casino,” and “OneView,” this service originally was outlined as an uber-search offering that would unite desktop, intranet and Internet search results. It will be interesting to see what it looks like if and when it ever sees the light of day.