When Windows Live Spaces launched last night, I was curious to see what kind of marketing Microsoft put behind it, since I was commenting just a week ago (after the “stealth” launch of Windows Live Toolbar) that you couldn’t prove that Windows Live was particularly important to Microsoft based on the minimal marketing attention they seemed to be devoting to it. Well the good news is that Windows Live Spaces merited a press release that was picked up widely in the press and that Microsoft marketing took the opportunity to boost the whole brand:
Microsoft Continues to Deliver on Windows Live Strategy
As the launch season continues, additional Windows Live services continue to be rolled out, and by the end of the summer Microsoft expects to ship almost half of the 20 beta services the company has been testing. To help provide a safer and more secure online experience, Microsoft will launch a number of new safety services in the coming weeks, including Windows Live OneCare™ Safety Scanner, a beta version of which was released in November 2005 as Windows Live Safety Center. Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner is a free, on-demand PC scanner that checks for and removes viruses and gets rid of unused files on the hard disk for improved PC performance.
Microsoft will also integrate enhanced safety features into Windows Live Toolbar, which was launched in a total of 38 markets this week. Windows Live Toolbar is designed to help consumers easily find, save and act on information and services across the Internet. It also includes access to the newly launched Windows Live OneCare Advisor, which provides quick and easy access to the Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner and an updated version of Microsoft® Phishing Filter that includes additional functionality to help protect consumers from online data theft.
Also coming soon to customers in the United States is the Windows Live QnA beta, a new vertical search experience designed to help people find the information they are looking for by allowing them to ask and answer questions from an online community on a given topic. Consumers will be able to tap into the power of the online community to search for answers on a variety of subject areas and topics including business, health, arts, sports, technology and more. Those interested can learn more and sign up for the beta at http://qna.live.com.
OK, it’s just a name change, a retroactive announce, and another beta, but it’s better than a mere blog post. Of course, a press release does not a marketing campaign make. Presumably there is some real sizzle coming.