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:
It’s rather an anticlimax since John Markoff has already told us all about it, but today Microsoft introduced spiffed up versions of some of their Windows Live software and a combined installer that will install them all as a suite:
Last night, Microsoft rolled out 3 new Windows Live betas as Nick White reports at Microsoft’s Windows Vista Team Blog:
Today our Windows Live team is releasing new betas for several Windows Live applications: Windows Live Messenger 8.5, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Writer. All three are now available for download.
White provides many more details on what is new, but in a nutshell:
The rumored restricted beta of Windows Live OneCare Family Safety turned out to be a public trial offer of the parental control software for Windows XP:
You might have heard back in March that we were doing some limited beta testing on parts of a new, free family safety service called Windows Live Family Safety Settings. The features we tested earlier this year represented just a portion of the full service we’re making available today, and we’re excited to announce the release of our new Windows Live OneCare Family Safety public beta available in the US through http://ideas.live.com.
Hit the link for more details, but for now the trial is USA only. And as surmised, a little rebranding has gone on since the original announcement which isn’t all that bad in this case since this is PC software like Windows Live OneCare and not Web-based like most of the rest of the Windows Live family. Also like OneCare, I would expect that this would eventually be a fee-based service, although there is no mention of that and the above clip has the magic word, “free.” Is it too soon to wave goodbye to the little software companies trying to make a buck in this market or do we wait until Vista comes out with similar functionality built-in?