The Wave 3 enhancements to Windows Live promised in November started rolling out today according to Dharmesh M. Mehta, Director of Windows Live Product Management:
Today we’ve started releasing the first set of updates to our web services, and these will continue to roll out globally over the next 24 hours – including a new version of Windows Live Home, Spaces, Events, and SkyDrive, as well as completely new web services such as Windows Live Groups, Photos, and Profile.
Mehta’s blog post has more details and some screen shots from which I have borrowed the following of Windows Live Profile, the social networking foundation that caused all the buzz when the Wave 3 features were revealed in November.
Click through for a larger image, but the idea is that " Your new profile is the place to decide what information about yourself you want to broadcast." much like Facebook or MySpace only for Windows Live. The added bonus is that it can also show your activity on other social networking services like Twitter, Flickr, and Yelp to mention a few. Not a bad approach when playing catch up.
So is Windows Live going to challenge Facebook or MySpace? I don’t see how unless it benefits from an incredible fad. Well then, will it be popular enough to be worth Microsoft’s expenditure? We’ll see and some of the specialized services may well have a life of their own.
The problem with the protracted beta availability of so many of Microsoft’s Windows Live applications is that it is fairly anticlimactic when they do come out of beta as they did today:
Today Microsoft Corp. launched the next generation of Windows Live, providing consumers worldwide with a compelling new set of tools and services that help make it easier than ever to communicate and share with the important people in their lives, from anywhere they have Web access across multiple devices. And, with built- in security features, consumers can use Windows Live services with confidence.
A free and fun upgrade for the online and Windows experiences, the new Windows Live was launched today at http://www.windowslive.com and at events in New York and Los Angeles.
If you are still awake, here’s the rundown:
Tonight Microsoft started rolling out an event planning feature called Windows Live Events for their Spaces blogging service: