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MSBLOG Exclusive: Windows Live is about to get a hell of a lot louder

September 24th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

We might be wrong about certain Live software being bundled with Windows Vista by the way… we’ll have to wait and see – more information as soon as we get it

 Please note – no official word from Microsoft yet, and we’re going on speculation, different sources of information and other influential people – there may not be such a thing, however we’ll soon work it out – just give us time.

Posted in Windows Live, Windows Vista | 4 Comments »

Interesting UK based MSN/Windows Live stats

September 24th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

This information is from MSN Advertising which I got off the web earlier on today – it’s available to one and all, I’ve just condensed some of it into a much easier way to understand.

Something else which is interesting – I was talking to Jo (works on Family Safety) in the office a few weeks ago about Spaces and how it’s become so large. Some of you will know, that MSN Spaces (now Windows Live Spaces) is the biggest blogging community in the world – even in the UK we only just beat MySpace which is still a huge achievement… but the funny thing is, is that Microsoft never marketed MSN Spaces when it was released into public beta December 2004. They never advertised it, never marketed it, this is how it became so big – it’s all down to this button

Amazing how something can become so big from thinking “oh, I haven’t seen that button before – I’ll click it and see where it gets me”. That’s exactly what I did when I started the MSN Messenger 7.0 beta back in Autumn/late 2004 and that’s how I started blogging 🙂

Posted in Microsoft, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger | 3 Comments »

Live gone mobile

September 12th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Mobile has been in beta now for over a year, and although you can reach it on any desktop machine and see your personalised content, what about mobile devices? For a long time, I thought that Mobile Live would simply be (see screenshot) but even I thought wrong. That’s the public MSN portal showing off the public Windows Live mobile services such as Windows Live Mobile Mail and Windows Live Mobile Spaces, but that’s it…

Mobile is here, but not quite ready yet. However it’s still fun to play with in the meantime. You’ll be able to see the content which you’ve personalised from viewing on your desktop computer, you’ll be able to see your Live Mail, your Live Space as well as other gadgets that you’ve added such as RSS feeds. Live Web Search will be embdedded but also let you search Live Local for local businesses and stuff.

At the moment, the only way to access it is via and it has to be typed that way otherwise it’ll take you straight to Live Ideas. You can see it on a desktop computer, as well as your mobile device. Soon it’ll have the hotspot locator in-built (which is pretty stupid seeing as you’ll need a hotspot/Internet access to view it), but you’ll also be able to see all the other things that you previously had access to with the MSN Portal such as news, money, weather and entertainment.

Here’s some screenies I took a little bit ago – click to enlarge 🙂

Mobile Messenger
That’s right, there’s even going to be a Mobile Web Messenger. As some of you know, Windows Live Messenger 8.1 will be in beta next week, Windows Live for Windows Mobile 5.0 devices is in beta and lets you access Messenger on your phone as an application… now they’re extending it that little bit more so that anyone with a mobile device can access Messenger from anywhere.

It’s a web Messenger basically and it’s certainly far from complete, because so far it’s very much a “hush hush” project, but as per usual, I’m here to blow the trumpet on everything that’s going on 😛

The images aren’t set yet, and the functionality is a bit crap, but it’s basically Messenger but on your mobile web browser – it even signs you out of Messenger when logged on to it from a desktop computer. You can interact with your contacts, see who’s on and who’s not and eventually you’ll be able to see their status in the form of an image.

You can access it here on your mobile device – has to be typed exactly like this otherwise it’ll redirect to Windows Live Ideas:

Posted in Windows Live, Windows Mobile | 2 Comments »

Windows Live Essentials download link

August 28th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

I found the download link… but that’s it. There’s nothing on there, no download, no information, absolutely nothing.

Still, as soon as it comes into public beta no doubt there’ll be software there to download.

Posted in Windows Live | 2 Comments »

The whole, full, none edited list of Windows Live services

August 26th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

This is as far as I know, the first full list of official Windows Live services on the web, links and information about them

There have been a few posts on the web about all the Windows Live services (Mary-Jo at Microsoft Watch, Matt Mondok at M-Dollar, Yahoo!, even Microsoft PressPass) and how many there are and which are actually services. Well, in a joint effort from myself and Chris from LiveSide, we’ve managed to make this list. It’s categorised to the best of our combined knowledge, by project start date which essentially means when the service was thought of, it gets listed; essentially it also means that this list is “in order of Live services” well and truly. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far, and hopefully I’ll keep updating this as soon as new features and releases come out.

01. Windows Live Drive (codename: Storage)
Offering online storage to users

02. Windows Live Contacts
Part of a bigger picture, link goes to Live Mail but will integrate your contacts in Mail and Spaces together.

03. Windows (originally:
The new web portal for Windows Live – the homepage if you will.

04. Windows Live Web Search
The new MSN Search, with added features for searching for news, images, academia and feeds.

05. Windows Live Messenger
The rebranded MSN Messenger with integration with Live Spaces, interoperability with Yahoo! as well as free VoIP and video calls.

06. Windows Live Ideas
The central site reporting on what’s new, what’s coming and what’s already out – just had a facelift on the site as well.

07. Windows Live Mail (codename: Kahuna)
The rebranded MSN Hotmail – better interface, easier to browse contacts, and no page refreshing as well as advanced spam protection.

08. Windows Live Favourites (codename: Roaming Favourites)
Enabling you to access your favourites from anywhere in the world using this simple web interface – gadget for Live Spaces too.
(US) – (UK)

09. Windows Live Expo (codename: Fremont)
New competitor with eBay – buy, swap and sell products and without any costs to the users at all.

10. Windows Live Labs
The brainy guys workying on new products and advanced technologies to make Live products better.

11. Windows Live OneCare (previously: OneCare Live)
The one stop place for computer protection, anti-virus and advanced firewall.
Subscription service – 90 day trial available for free

12. Windows Live Local (previously: Virtual Earth)
An advanced mapping system with satellite coverage, road maps, soon to have driving directions and route planner, with Birds Eyeâ„¢ imagery

13. Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner (codename: Vegas)
Online scanning facility for checking your computer for viruses and cleaning up unnecessary files.

14. Windows Live Custom Domains
Allowing you to have your own domain name to use with Windows Live, Mail and Messenger.

15. Windows Live Call
Allowing you to call overseas and landlines for very cheap rates
Feature embedded in Windows Live Messenger

16. Windows Live Call for Free (codenamed: FreeCall)
Enables you to call businesses for free after searching for them in Live Local.
Feature embedded in Windows Live Local

17. Windows Live Search
The free desktop application allowing you to search files on your computer, the web, Messenger sharing folders and your Live Drive.
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

18. Windows Live Search Desktop (codename OneView)
Part of Windows Live Search (there’s a lot of desktop/search/toolbars, we’re all a bit confused but they’re all set in stone)
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

19. Windows Live Search Translation
Allowing you to search using Live Web Search but translate pages and/or text

20. Windows Live Local Preview
Imagery of San Francisco and Seattle, allowing you to navigate the map with a variety of views at street level.

21. Windows Live Toolbar
A toolbar which adds itself to Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer, allowing access to your Space, Live Mail, and Live Favourites and search everywhere you go.

22. Windows Desktop Search
Part of Windows Live Search (there’s a lot of desktop/search/toolbars, we’re all a bit confused but they’re all set in stone)
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

23. Windows Live Mail Center (previously: Mail Desktop/Outlook Express Live)
Enabling you to see your Live Mail, other POP3 and IMAP folders as well as RSS feeds and other email addresses and contacts on your desktop.
No website yet, download only

24. Windows Live ID
The new and improved MSN Passport – working seamlessly with Live services and allowing multiple sign-ins with different accounts.

25. Windows Live Writer
 Enabling you to write, post and modify blog entries in real time with loads of customisable options like adding pictures and Live Local maps embedded into your entries.
 Download directly from Microsoft

26. Windows Live Essentials (previously Windows Live Now)
The Google Pack equivilant – allowing you to customise and install all the available Live services straight away
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

27. Windows Live Account
The central point to change, modify and create new Live ID’s and settings.

28. Windows Live OneCare Family Safety
 Allowing you to set and manage options and viewable content for younger users’ Windows Live ID’s.

29. Windows Live Clipboard
Enabling you to cut, copy and paste information from one website server to another ideal for moving calendar or contact entries between accounts.
No URL yet, but check out the non-Microsoft site

30. Windows Live Marketplace (codename: Agora)
The new Marketplace enabling you to buy and download software straight to your Vista machine.

31. Windows Live Shopping
Competitor to – lets you browse and buy software at your own time, pace and leisure

32. Windows Live QnA (codename: Answers)
Ask questions, get answers, vote on answers and earn kudos points which earn you special rewards.

33. Windows Live Alerts
 Send information updates to your email inbox, mobile device or Messenger.

34. Windows Live Spaces (codename: Spaces 10.5)
The world’s biggest social networking site, letting you blog, add photo’s, customise content and add gadgets.

35. Windows Live Academic Search
Allows you to search the web for academia – books and journals from different authors and relevance.
Academic tab on

36. Windows Live Image Search
Enables you to search the web for specific images, of different sizes and preview panes.
Image tab on

37. Windows Live Product Search
Enables you to search the web for products to buy using Windows Live Search.

38. Windows Live Voicemail
A new feature for Live Mail and Messenger for leaving voice messages for other people for when they are unavailable.
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

39. Windows Live codename “Max”
 Allowing you to create custom 3D galleries of photos and media and send it to other users across the Internet.
Will eventually become a Windows Live service. – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

40. Windows Live Sign-In Assistant
The easier way to signin and out of Windows Live using a simpler interface and advanced security.

41. Windows Live Wifi Suite
Downloadable software for easy access to wireless networks on your laptop or mobile device.

42. Windows Live Hotspot Locator
Web interface allowing you to search hundreds of thousands of free or paid wireless hotspot locations in over 90 countries.

43. Windows Live Dev
The development center and supplier of software developmnet kits for Windows Live developers.

44. Windows Live Gallery (codename: Customise)
The central place to browse, submit or apply gadgets to or to Windows Live Spaces.

Windows Live Mobile
Live for mobile devices – accessible on a mobile device and able to see your customisable Windows
Mobile devices only
Will eventually migrate fully to

46. Windows Live Mobile Mail
The revamped MSN Hotmail for Mobile but brought to a mobile device.
Mobile devices only

47. Windows Live Mobile Search
The revamped MSN Search for Mobile but brought to a mobile device – mobile compatibility integrated.
Mobile devices only

Windows Live Publishing Portal
The new way to buy books – searching millions of books and able to buy them online using an online preview pane.

49. Windows Live Feeds
A dedicated team to help aggregate information around the Internet – just how RSS is part of Mail Center.
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

50. Windows Live Dashboard
Part of Essentials but lets you see what you have installed, what’s on offer and other links for support.
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

Note 1: MSN Video (codename “Warhol”) is an MSN service and not a Windows Live service.
Note 2: Some haven’t made the list because they’re not exactly services – Windows Live Help for example and SDK’s aren’t really services. Also, some “services” merged into the larger umbrella service, such as Windows Live Near Me Search was absorbed by Windows Live Local.
Note 3: Xbox Live and Office Live aren’t actually Windows Live products, so they’re excluded from the list. They’re different teams, different way of thinking and they just generally don’t have anything to do with Windows Live.

Posted in Windows Live | 17 Comments »

MSBLOG Exclusive: Now it’s 45…

August 25th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

I did tell you guys that this month was going to be a busy one, and it most certainly is. Now announced are two more Windows Live services:

Windows Live Essentials and with it comes the complimentary Windows Live Dashboard.

Windows Live Essentials is basically the Microsoft equivilent of Google Pack and we saw this coming ever since that last message in the installation of Live Messenger saying “Please note, there may be other installations in progress” or something of that effect. It’ll let you select the services and applications you want to install and highlight the main ones, Messenger, Mail Center (it’s still called Mail Desktop and will be called this eventually), and Live Toolbar which comes out before Christmas.

Windows Live Dashboard is the interface given of which lets you see what’s on offer, what you’ve already got and are using, as well as the opportunity to download and install new ones that come along once they’re finished.

The Live Essentials beta will begin in the next couple of weeks – and just to clarify, there are now 45 Windows Live services, even though Dashboard is a service hiding within Essentials.

Edit: Just noticed, Chris has posted just after this, go and see his post as well here.

Posted in Beta News, Windows Live | Comments Off on MSBLOG Exclusive: Now it’s 45…

MSBLOG Exclusive: And now counting 43…

August 24th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

That’s right, this will be the 43rd service being provided by Windows Live, and yes there are some you won’t know about because they’re super duper top secret. However, this is the 43rd.



The service will begin beta this week, and only Windows Live Butterflies will have access, but eventually you’ll be able to see it at

Posted in Beta News, Windows Live | Comments Off on MSBLOG Exclusive: And now counting 43…

Clarifying Windows Live integration into Windows Vista

August 22nd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

A lot of people have made speculation about Windows Vista having “Windows Live integration” in RC1 (Release Candidate 1) and there’s a simple and frank explaination for this: yes and no. Come on it’s me, nothing’s ever that easy with me 🙂

A little background history on why Live integration might be a problem

Windows has come under fire some time ago by the EU (European Commission) being the executive body of all the countries in Europe which has the right to initiate legislation and rules and stuff, because Microsoft put products in Windows XP which was making smaller businesses creating competitor products go bust. So because Windows XP came with Windows Media Player 9, it was making it difficult for Nullsoft to sell Winamp because people were using a product which was readily there.

So the EU got all stroppy about this and had a major hissy fit and said to Microsoft, “look, take Windows Media Player out of Windows, or give consumers an option to have Windows but without all of this bundled crap in, or we’ll fine your arses off”. Microsoft did this but not quite in time to receive a good few fines amounting to millions of dollars (enough to fill the pockets of those EU snobs for a while), and created Windows XP “N” Edition, the “N” standing for No Media Player.

This was basically called “anti-trust”. Now the same problem lies in Windows Vista, because that has Windows Media Player 11 bundled in, but because Microsoft learnt their lesson from getting smacked on the arse with a slipper from the EU, it’s decided to make preemptive strike by offering an “N” Edition of some Vista editions.

It’s not just Windows Media Player, it’s other bundled software too

Windows Live software is also in the competitor markets. With Live Expo you have eBay, with Live Shopping you have Amazon, with Live Search you have Google, with Live Messenger you have Skype and with Live Spaces you have MySpace. So basically, if you put Windows Live Messenger into Vista by standard just like Windows Messenger (a very basic instant messenger) was put into XP, it’ll cause a problem because competitors will say, “but why use our products when you’ve already got a program which does the same job bundled with the operating system?”

How Microsoft will get past this little snag in their evil plan to dominate the Earth

They’ll just put shortcuts and links to their software instead of actually bundling the software in.

Microsoft have learned their lesson, but they’re still looking for loopholes, and this stands a good chance of actually working. If you see the image below, you’ll notice from the wording what they’re trying to do.

“Go online to learn about”… “Download”… “Go to”… “Sign up for”… it’s all linking to complimentary software which won’t actually get bundled in to Vista.

Just to clarify

Windows Vista won’t have Windows Live software bundled in, but instead to get around the legal aspects and the anti-trust stuff, offer free downloads or links to the complimentary software and services instead.

Read more

Bryant’s post – AeroXP
Robert McLaw’s post – Longhorn Blogs

Posted in Windows Live, Windows Vista | 3 Comments »

New Build of WLMD Available! Come and Get It!

August 17th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

The following message can also be found at WLMD team blog site:



Well, there’s been a lot going on since last posting – so I wanted to take a
moment to make sure we keep you all up to date on the latest happenings.

New Build Available for download!

Of course the most exciting thing to mention is that we have a new build
available for your downloading pleasure!
In this new build you’ll see some major improvements!  Right off the bat,
the most noticeable change will likely be the updates we’ve made to our User
In addition to UI changes, here are just a few of the MANY improvements that
we’ve made:

-Lots of work on performance
-AutoDetect for adding email accounts
-Contacts and RSS management improvements
-New search folders for RSS and Newsgroups

Please grab it and give it a whirl!  We’re very anxious to hear what you
have to say!
And speaking of which.

Revamped Feedback Plan

Not too long ago, we blogged about ways to send feedback to the WLMd team.
Since then we’ve spent some time coming up with more comprehensive ways to
hear what you all have to say.

Support Site
Same spot as before!  This is a great place to send any issues/bugs that you’re
running into.  Just go to this site and submit a ticket for any issue you
might be experiencing.

We have created a new NG ( just
for WLMd that you can view both through newsreaders and through the web.
This is a great place to go and discuss your issues/suggestions with others,
and to filter through the posts to see if maybe someone else has hit the
same problems.

Help Links
In the latest build of WLMd, you’ll see a couple new options for sending
feedback on WLMd through the Help option in the Toolbar.

Send Feedback (web) – Navigates to  Just search
through the list, find Windows Live Mail desktop, click on it – and send us

Send Feedback (email) – Launches a compose page with our team’s internal
feedback alias.

Blog Comments
Well, it’s been a good run – but I’m going to have to close down the
Comments feature for this Blog.  You have all been sending so much feedback
through this site and it’s been really hard to keep up!  The feedback loops
that I’ve discussed above are much better ways for us to get the information
that you’re sending and be able to filter it appropriately.

That’s about it for now!  Hope you all take the time to install the latest
build – and send us your thoughts!

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Windows Live | 4 Comments »

Get Live for UK updated

August 17th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Some updates for the British guys – although can be used by others if you want.

Get Windows Live (UK) – new Flash site
Get Windows Live Spaces – very similar to Get Messenger but obvious differences

That’s it for now – gotta get back to work 🙂

Posted in Windows Live | Comments Off on Get Live for UK updated

How many Windows Live services are there?

August 15th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Quote – Just How Many Windows Live Services Are There: Microsoft Watch

“Microsoft officials say there are 20 Windows Live services available in beta and/or final versions. But it looks like the real count is in excess of 40. And that’s not including a number of Live services which Microsoft has yet to acknowledge, but sources say are in the pipeline. There are more Windows Live services than meet the eye.”

Oh Mary  So naive… but she’s not wrong, and that’s coming from a semi-Microsoft official. September’s gonna be a nice squishy month for you Live addicts… pay special attention to which categories this entry lies in… there’s a lot of them

Edit: don’t ask me to go into specifics, you know I can’t. Just bide your time, sit quietly and I’ll let you know as soon as things become available – I’m just stirring hype in this entry.

Edit: As of 20th August, there are officially 42 Windows Live services in total.

Posted in Daily Life, Gadgets, Internet Explorer, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Mobile, Windows Vista, Xbox and Gaming | 4 Comments »

Live Messenger… Live Spaces… Live Writer…. *cough*

August 15th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

So… as the name suggests, Windows Live Messenger was released (far too early, server issues and all), then came some other releases like Custom Domains and the Toolbar and Live OneCare, then came another great communications tool, Windows Live Spaces which made me very happy indeed. Then, little did I know about, Windows Live Writer makes an appearance. Although news to me after some internal speculation, that was let out of the bag and a public beta is available.

So what next? And when? Heehehehehehe

Posted in Internet Explorer, Windows Live | 1 Comment »

What Windows Live Writer needs…

August 14th, 2006 by Kristan M. Kenney

… a good user interface. I’m actually using Windows Live Writer right now to write and publish this post. Overall, I feel that while the feature set is looking good, the user interface looks like something from Office 2003. Can we please get the 2007 Office System “Ribbons” style going on here? I think that would really make this application stand out from the crowd.

Or, how about a Word 2007 meets Windows Live Mail Center style interface? That could be kind of cool. What do you guys think? (I’m going to make sure that the Windows Live team sees this message so if you have something to say about Windows Live Writer you can do it here).

Just my 2 cents, of course.

Posted in Windows Live | 3 Comments »

MSBLOG Exclusive: Windows Live Spaces goes mobile

August 13th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

This seems to have been unseen everywhere else on the web, but believe it or not, Windows Live Spaces has been upgraded for mobile users. I use my mobile device a lot (running Windows Mobile 2003 Phone Edition, Second Edition) using wireless capabilities, and I regularly check out the mobile version of the Live pages. Although there’s a lot to be changed, and it’s still along the lines of “MSN” and not “Windows Live” (see this screenshot)

There’s a new logo, and thats about it. That’s pretty much the only change within the entire interface from a few days ago when it was still MSN Spaces. Nevertheless, it’s still cool and I like some of the changes they’ve done… well I like the new logo anyway, seeing as that’s all that’s changed.

Access Windows Live Spaces for mobiles:
1) Go to in your mobile web browser
2) Sign in using your Windows Live ID credentials
3) Click on “MSN Spaces – updated”

Alternatively, check out any Space by using the address in your mobile browser:

Click for a larger screenshot

Posted in Windows Live, Windows Mobile | Comments Off on MSBLOG Exclusive: Windows Live Spaces goes mobile

A note for to Windows Live Messenger contact cards

August 7th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Have you ever seen these on contact cards and thought “what on Earth do they mean?”. Well here’s a quick, simple and short explaination.

The first contact card, the user is using Microsoft Office Live Communicator, which is the standard internal messaging client within Microsoft. Most likely, anyone with an email address will have this icon in the contact card, or if your company uses Live Communications Server, this will appear on your card as well.

The second contact card is if the user is using Windows Live Messenger with a* account, or they are using Yahoo! Messenger with a Yahoo! account.

The third contact card simply means that they are using a web-based version of Messenger, most likely MSN Web Messenger seeing as they’re all interoperable with each other.

There we go… hope that irons a few theories out 🙂

Posted in Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger | 1 Comment »

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