The “under the radar” announcement of Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner affords me yet another opportunity to wonder about what is going on with Windows Live marketing. The vehicle for the announcement was apparently an anonymous Microsoft statement to the press and some cryptic fine print on a hard to find Web page, while the beta (under the previous name of Windows Live Safety Center) is still prominently featured (as I write) amongst all the other Windows Live betas (some correctly labeled as such, some not) at ideas.live.com. You almost get the feeling that Microsoft doesn’t really want anyone to know about the Windows Live offerings as they roll out.
And if you thought the betas listed at ideas.live.com were the complete list of Windows Live projects yet to be realized, think again. Mary Jo Foley at Microsoft Watch does some spelunking and comes up with a list of 40 Windows Live offerings, about double the 20 or so that are usually discussed. Admittedly, a few probably got listed by mistake on public Microsoft Web sites or are more precisely features of other Windows Live products, but an aura of disorderliness seems to permeate the whole endeavor. Where’s the Microsoft scorecard of Windows Live betas that gets publicly “checked off” as each one ships? If Windows Live is really the “next big thing” for Microsoft and they have developers slaving away to make it happen quickly, it wouldn’t hurt to trumpet the successful deliveries a bit.