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December 17, 2008

Microsoft loses Live Search GM Brad Goldberg

Posted by David Hunter at 1:52 PM ET.

Yesterday, Microsoft confirmed the departure of Brad Goldberg, Search Business Group General Manager:

Goldberg is leaving to become chief executive of the online business at the Peak6 investment company.

The Redmond company acknowledged Goldberg’s impending departure in response to an inquiry this evening, describing the situation as amicable. Another Microsoft veteran, Mike Nichols, will replace Goldberg as general manager of Live Search product management at the beginning of the year.

This seems to be more of the continuing fallout from the appointment of Yahoo’s Dr. Qi Lu to run Microsoft’s Online Services Group. Earlier, Microsoft had revealed the upcoming departure in March of online ad sales chief Bill Shaughnessy whose organization was folded into Microsoft’s centralized Sales, Marketing and Services Group when Dr. Lu arrived.

Filed under Executives, General Business, Live Search, Microsoft, Online Services, Qi Lu, Windows Live

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December 15, 2008

Microsoft rolls out Windows Live Essentials betas

Posted by David Hunter at 4:11 PM ET.

Microsoft’s Windows Live Essentials suite of downloadable applications was formally unveiled today:

The Windows Live betas we’ve been playing with for a while now have just received another refresh. As of today, the page at has been updated with a new set of betas, now called the “Windows Live Essentials.” Here, you’ll find the latest versions of Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Writer, Toolbar, and Family Safety, as well as additional programs like the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector, the Office Live Add-in and Microsoft Silverlight. All the programs are available via one installer that lets you choose which programs you want installed or not installed.

If the Windows Live nomenclature is confusing in this context (since these are not Web applications), refer to Ed Bott’s elucidation:

A handful of applications that were previously included with Windows will no longer ship with the core operating system [Windows 7]. This list includes Windows Mail (known as Outlook Express in Windows XP), Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Photo Gallery. (Windows Messenger, which was included with Windows XP, was dropped from the main OS package before the debut of Windows Vista.)

The Windows 7 versions of all these programs will be offered to Windows customers as individual options in a package collectively dubbed Windows Live Essentials. That doesn’t mean they’re going to be browser-based products. They’re going to be traditional standalone Windows applications, with the crucial distinction that the primary delivery (and update) mechanism will be the Windows Live website. Each of these products has the capability to integrate with web-based Windows Live Services, but they’ll work just fine on their own.

I’m still not wild about the idea that purchasers of shiny new Windows 7 PCs will have to download Windows Live Essentials to get back to the functionality they had in Windows XP although Microsoft will undoubtedly try to get the OEMs to preload at least some portion of Windows Live Essentials.

Filed under Beta and CTP, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows 7, Windows Live, Windows Live Essentials

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December 14, 2008

Microsoft Live Labs releases Seadragon Mobile iPhone app

Posted by David Hunter at 6:46 PM ET.

Per a post on the Microsoft Live Labs blog, Microsoft has released a free demonstration application for the iPhone that uses the image viewing technology they acquired with Seadragon Software.

Want to see giga-pixel images on your iPhone?   Now you can–with Seadragon Mobile.

Seadragon Mobile brings the same smooth image browsing you get on the PC to the mobile platform.  Get super-close in on a map or photo, with just a few pinches or taps of your finger.  Browse an entire collection of photos from a single screen.  You can browse Deep Zoom Images that you can create from your own pictures or your Photosynth collection (or anybody else’s).

There’s also a slick demo video in the same post.

I’ve seen some commentary that wonders at part of Microsoft trafficking with the "enemy" at Apple, but Microsoft is large enough and with fingers in enough pies that such discontinuities are bound to occur. Todd Bishop observes that more are likely on the way:

There are signs that more Microsoft groups may also be interested in iPhone app development, with David Geller of Eyejot commenting yesterday on TechFlash about the "large number" of Microsofties attending a recent Seattle-area iPhone developers group meeting.

Filed under Acquisitions, Apple, Coopetition, Microsoft, Windows Live

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December 12, 2008

Windows Live Sync has arrived

Posted by David Hunter at 10:24 AM ET.

Fulfilling a November promise, Microsoft’s Windows Live Sync service for sharing and synchronizing files "in the cloud" was launched yesterday replacing FolderShare:

We’ve been hard at work on the new software, and we’re pleased to report that the new Windows Live Sync is now available for Windows and the Mac.

We’ve listened to your feedback, and Sync will continue to offer the same great service as FolderShare, along with several new features:

  • Higher file limits—up to 20 synchronized folders (formerly known as libraries) with up to 20,000 files in each one.
  • Integration with Windows Live ID.
  • Integration with the Recycle Bin.
  • Unicode support.
  • More languages for Windows (46 in all).
  • And lots of bug fixes.

There are more details in the Live Sync FAQ and yes, the question is still pending as to how this ultimately relates to Microsoft’s Live Mesh which performs a similar function.

Filed under Microsoft, Windows Live, Windows Live Sync

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