LiveSide has the story:
On Thursday the public beta of Custom Domains was upgraded. Some good news for those who have been asking for Windows Live Mail inboxes instead of Hotmail inboxes, 40 Mail Beta invites will be given to domain owners next week (14/2).
Hit the link for other changes.
The post also mentions yesterday’s kerfuffle in which various Microsoft employees feel aggrieved that Live Domains doesn’t seem to be getting the publicity that Google’s hosting of email for students at San Jose City College received. Microsoft does have a hosted WindowsLive@edu program for educational institutions which, despite the “Live” name, is a bundle of existing MSN services including Hotmail, Messenger, Spaces, etc.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but the offering isn’t exactly “hands off” infrastructure since the customer has to have an installation of Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS) on a Windows Server to handle the user management. By contrast, Google says “there’s no hardware or software for you to install or maintain.” It will be interesting to see if the Microsoft offering changes in this regard as the transition to the new Live services takes place, but it merely adds to the main point which is competition for traditional software from Web based offerings.