TECH TALK: Microsoft Live: Analysis

Tim OReilly was at the event and this is what he blogged:

Bill [Gates] articulates five “Live” Principles, remarkably similar to some of the points I’ve talked about as Web 2.0: His list:

  • Software plus service
  • Server = Service
  • Support multiples pcs and devices
  • Multiple styles of client
  • Combination of client software, peer-to-peer, and internet services

    The big takeaway: Microsoft is fully engaged with thinking about what I’ve called “Web 2.0.” They are focused on the internet as the platform, on software as a service, on creating rich experiences across multiple devices, on live update as a metaphor for both software and documents, on grassroots adoption as a result of user conversations. They are also very clearly focused on advertising as a new business model. We’re hearing all the Web 2.0 buzzwords: RSS, AJAX, social networking.

    Another key takeaway for me from this presentation was that Microsoft realizes the power of being able to build an integrated experience across a hardware device, a software application, and an internet service.

  • Phil Wainewright wrote:

    In short, what Microsoft announced was its intention to launch an online services platform. Or, to borrow the headline from seasoned Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft ‘Live’: ‘Hailstorm’ Take 2. Mary quite rightly identifies that the only thing really new in yesterday’s announcement was the positioning and packaging of a cluster of existing initiatives. And compare Microsoft’s press statement about APIs above with what she quotes from the company’s original descriptions of Hailstorm: “a set of user-centric XML Web services that enable developers to build solutions that work seamlessly with one another over the Internet to deliver a more personalized and consistent user experience.”

    Mary goes on to quote Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff, who also foresees a platform emerging: “I think they’ll eventually drive to ‘platformize’ these services, again, similar to HailStorm but with a more coherent business model and partner model this time around.”

    Michael Arrington wrote [1 2]:

    Windows Live is a free, ad-supported AJAX virtual desktop. Most of the functionality could be seen in the Microsoft sandbox project called Start, which we profiled a couple of months ago.

    However, Microsoft has added plenty of new features that add a lot of value to the product. Among them are email integration, a new instant messaging client, plaxo-like contact management and skype-like features that allow outgoing calls to normal POTS phones. Windows Live is also extensible via gadgets. After what I saw today, I despair for many a silicon valley startup.

    Office Live should become a starting point for small businesses wanting a web presence and a general platform to run their business operations.

    If Microsoft can hold on to them as they grow by offering additional services, it will become a lucrative product for them. And the ad inventory they will generate from page views will also be highly valuable to advertisers selling into the small business space.

    Joe Wilcox wrote:

    I expect Live services to be extremely targeted, Office for small businesses and Windows for active online consumers. As such, Live services won’t be for everyone. If, say, you’re a consumer that actively blogs, incessantly IMs throughout the day and streams or downloads music, Windows Live could be a good fitA few people have asked me what “Live” means. While I see Microsoft’s reasoning for tying into Office and Windows brands, I’m skeptical of Live’s appeal. Live certainly doesn’t grab me, and, yes, there is uncertainty about what it means. Is it supposed to mean the living Web? Maybe community or safety? I’ll let Microsoft answer that question.

    Tomorrow: Analysis (continued)

    TECH TALK Microsoft Live+T

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    Rajesh Jain

    An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.