Microsoft Corp. has announced the next generation of Windows Live, an integrated set of online services for consumers to communicate and share their multimedia content with others. 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.
Microsoft is collaborating with 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, and as they share photos, update their profiles and write reviews, these activities will automatically publish to their Windows Live network.
“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.”
Windows Live is making new social features available to all customers, including an updated profile, a “what’s new” feed of activities across the network and Web, photo sharing, and on-the-go access from virtually any device with Windows Live SkyDrive. Online storage is increasing from 5 GB to 25 GB.
Windows Live Messenger is another updated application, now including more personalization, a “what’s new” feed with updates from contacts across the Web, drag-and-drop photo sharing in the conversation window, a favorites list to designate the most important contacts, and group IM to chat simultaneously with up to 20 people at the same time.
Microsoft says this release represents a key new opportunity for developers, advertisers and other organizations to build services that serve their respective customers.
This next generation of Windows Live will begin rolling out to customers in the U.S. over the coming weeks and will be made available globally in 54 countries and in 48 languages by early 2009.