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November 13, 2008

Windows Live Wave 3 revealed with a dash of social networking

Posted by David Hunter at 1:40 PM ET.

Last night Microsoft announced Windows Live Wave 3 and besides the expected updates of existing Windows Live offerings, there was some social networking added to the stew:

Microsoft Corp. today announced the next generation of Windows Live, an integrated set of online services that make it easier and more fun for consumers to communicate and share with the people they care about most. The new generation of Windows Live includes updated experiences for photo sharing, e-mail, instant messaging, as well as integration with multiple third-party sites. The release also includes Windows Live Essentials, free downloadable software that enhances consumers’ Windows experience by helping them simplify and enjoy digital content scattered across their PC, phone and on Web sites.

Translation: Just as before, there are some purely Web pieces and some downloadable pieces of Windows Live and the latter are termed Windows Live Essentials and will complement Windows 7.

Consumers today are creating online content and sharing it in many places across the Web. To help make is simple for the more than 460 million Windows Live customers to keep their friends up to date, Microsoft is collaborating with leading companies including Flickr, LinkedIn Corp., Pandora Media Inc., Photobucket Inc., Twitter, WordPress and Yelp Inc. to integrate activities on third-party sites into Windows Live through a new profile and What’s New feed. The new Windows Live also gives consumers the added convenience of having a central place to organize and manage information.

“Think of Windows Live as the single place where people using our e-mail, messaging and photo-sharing services can stay connected,” said Chris Jones, corporate vice president of Windows Live Experience Program Management at Microsoft. “Our customers have friends across the Web. They communicate through many unconnected Web services and want access to it all from a single location — without worrying about how it’s done. Now Windows Live takes care of that, with an integrated personal communication service that works across the Web with optimized experiences on the PC and mobile phone.”

In a nutshell, Microsoft is creating a Windows Live “dashboard” for individual information management incorporating the activities of the users and their friends across a number of non-Microsoft as well as Microsoft sites.

Some other changes:

Microsoft is currently in the middle of phase 3 of a five phase rollout of Wave 3 with no crisp endpoint date. More detail on all of this is available in the Windows Live Wave 3 Reviewer’s Guide.

My first take is that Microsoft has done a nice job of trying to bring order out of the Windows Live chaos, although there are still too many “products”  with the Windows Live brand confusing the picture. Think of how much nicer it would have been if Windows Live had always been a unitary product that periodically got feature upgrades. But I digress – Wave 3 is nonetheless an important step for unifying Windows Live even if it never attracts a Facebook-type audience.



Filed under Microsoft, Multiply, Windows Live, Windows Live Essentials, Windows Live FolderShare, Windows Live Groups, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live People, Windows Live Photos, Windows Live Profile, Windows Live SkyDrive, Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live Sync

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3 Responses to “Windows Live Wave 3 revealed with a dash of social networking”

  1. Windows Live Sync replaces FolderShare in December | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Windows Live Wave 3 was announced last week, it was revealed that Windows Live FolderShare was being renamed as Windows Live Sync. Yesterday [...]

  2. Microsoft rolls out Windows Live Wave 3 | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] 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. [...]

  3. tom carter Says:

    Foldershare user trying to convert.
    Downloaded software.
    Logged in to Live home page.
    Do you see a link to Live Sync ANYWHERE?
    I don’t.
    Let’s search for Live Sync in the search box…hmmm, bring me to this site…not exactly what me and my partners need right now. We need the software that the Foldershare team wrote.
    Re-read the email about what users needed to know about conversion – no link to a Live Sync page.
    Disappointing.
    Reminds me of WebTV.

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