With all the fuss around Google and how cool they are, it seems few people are paying attention to Microsoft’s answer: Windows Live. Windows Live has a matching solution for almost every one of Google’s services. If you spend a little time looking at it, it’s actually very impressive and makes you really wonder how things will shape up. The interface is clean and sophisticated and it supports Firefox and Opera.
What is Windows Live?
Your online world gets better when everything works simply and effortlessly together. That’s the basic idea behind Windows Live. So the things you care aboutâ€”your friends, the latest information, your e-mails, powerful search, your PC files, everythingâ€”come together in one place. This is a brand new Internet experience designed to put you in control. And this is just the beginningâ€”you’ll see many more new services in the coming months.
Here is a list of some of the services that Windows Live is offering (all still in beta).
The main site which is basically a search portal and allows customization similar to Google’s personalization.
Windows Live Ideas
Lists most of the initiatives they are working on.
Windows Live Local
Microsoft’s answer to Google Maps. They have a “Road”, “Aerial” and “Bird’s eye” view. Search Engine Guide has an article comparing the services and they prefer Live Local.
Windows Live Favorites
Save your favorites on-line. You can synch your Live Favorites with your IE Favorites and you can share them on-line. Doesn’t seem to try and be a del.icio.us.
Microsoft Office Live
The name implies that it’s an on-line version of MS Office, but it really seems to be more about creating and hosting Web sites. With the basic service you can register a domain name (new domain), create and host the Web site, get 5 email accounts and traffic reports for FREE! Not bad You are required to give your credit card information, but you don’t get charged.
Gadgets for Windows Sidebar will run on your desktop or dock into Windows Sidebar, an upcoming feature in Windows Vista alongside other applications. Gadgets for Start.com (a.k.a. Web or Server-based Gadgets) provide a fast, customizable homepage with a clean user interface.
You may, as I have, also wonder what start.com is and what the relation is to live.com. sanaz’s space has a good description, but basically start.com is a testing area for live.com and ideas are tested there first before being implemented on live.com.
A blog maintained by the live.com development team where you can get the latest info on updates.