Microsoft refreshes Windows Live

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Redmond (WA) – Microsoft late Tuesday launched what the company calls the “next generation of Windows Live”, a collection of online add-ons for Windows PCS, including a photo sharing tool, Live Mail, a Blog authoring application, a new instant messenger, a calendar and a new toolbar.

Windows Live received a comprehensive, Google-like, update to attract more Windows users and convince them to take some of their online activities to Microsoft’s servers. Microsoft itself calls the new Windows Live a “free and fun upgrade for the online and Windows experiences” and promises that the new services “simplify” the digital lives of Windows users. The company claims that more than 400 million users worldwide are using Windows Live already.

The new Windows Live updates the core applications of the service - Hotmail,  Spaces, Toolbar and Messenger. More interesting, however, are a range of newly available applications that are competing with similar services Google offers. The new “Photo Gallery” enables users to share photos and videos online, “Live Mail” allows users to combine multiple email accounts (such as Hotmail, Gmail and AOL mail) into one interface; “Live Writer” adds a more Windows-like look & feel to blog authoring and can be used to create and publish content to Live Spaces or other blogs; “Events” is an online calendar and “Family Safety” gives parents a tool to keep “inappropriate online content” out of sight from their children.

Microsoft also offers a “Mobile” component that allows users to connect to Windows Live via a Windows Mobile device.

The new services can be accessed at windowslive.com.