Like a few other Belgian bloggers I went to the Microsoft Windows Live demo Thursday. I’d tried Windows Live before, but it didn’t really impress me. After the demo I’m still having difficulties figuring out what the point of it all is. It sometimes seems to me Windows Live is just a way of showing Google and the rest of the world, that microsoft can do things like ajax and rss. But is ‘Windows Live’ an answer to the simple users? I’m not sure.
In my opinion they currently aren’t doing anything new:
If I look at netvibes or google, their personalized homepages are at least as good as microsoft lives homepage. If I had to choose, netvibes definitally stays my favorite. It’s super fast, supports all browsers and have nice clean functionalities.
Online mail app
I have to say I didn’t tried the beta webmail myself, only saw it on demo, but even then I’m sure their isn’t much difference between yahoo mail beta or gmail. Owkey, they’re deploying 2GB/user on each Live Mail account but if they want to compete with Google they need to the deploy 10GB, with the ability to a file management system. It seems that they’re doing their best to catch up with google’s gmail, but is that enough?
Well this is actually a good point for Windows Live. I love to see how they challenge google by experimenting with the user interface of search. I love what they did to the image search. The user interface is really build upon the idea: owkey this user is searching for an image he wants to use, or wants to link to, how can I help him finding the best image as fast as possible. The sliders and the preview function come in very handy.
I talked about how I loved the birds’ eye function in Live Local, well they’re expanding this feature to a broader region. The virtual earth technology seems also very promising. I’m also referring to a great mapping service roundup on techcrunch. Techcrunch does notice that the birds’ eye function is a very cool feature but not really usefull.
There are a lot of other functionalities to much to talk about, (like the VoIP integration in windows live messenger) but there isn’t anything that hasn’t already been done. Though there are so much opportunities for Microsoft, they can support the whole windows live platform with an operating system. So I really think they should make a difference by making the integration with the operating system.
Tom De Bruyne hinted me that they are working on a feature of integrating your windows media player library into windows live. So you can access your music, videos from every where trough the windows live platform. Now this is a cool feature.
I thought of a few other features that would be nice:
- Access files on your HD from the windows live platform. Live Drive?
- Windows Live media player, an online application to listen to your music, that streams to you from your home pc. Or listen to streaming radio stations, tv stations
- A kind of toolbox for people who aren’t on their own pc’s.
- The integration of the windows live homepage to your own desktop. Not in a browser anymore.
- Make different standard profiles, make a standard homepage for Belgium teenager with the best feeds, best content, layout. So they don’t have to collect the rss feeds themselves, but get a ready-made homepage for their profile.
- Windows Live Patience :p
I like windows XP, it does the job for me. It’s stable, save and fast. So, no I’m not a Apple fan, I’m not considering the switch. But seeing microsoft trying to compete with google, it seems to me the microsoft machine (company) is so slow to react to different trends. It’s a huge company, they surely have very bright people so why don’t they come up with stunning new things? Maybe the company structure doesn’t allow great ideas to flow trough. John Batelle wrote about this, how microsoft could solve this by founding a spinoff company M-soft. (couldn’t find the specific post) A young new company supported by everything from mother Microsoft.
Thanks for the invitation Kris, it was fun.