Here at Microsofts Mix 06 conference on March 20, Microsoft officials explained in a session on Windows Live how the company is thinking about making Windows Live appeal to third-party developers, not just to Microsofts own product teams.
Microsoft has been mulling how best to articulate its Windows Live developer story for several months, as noted on the LiveSide.Net Web site.
To help simplify its message, Microsoft has consolidated its content and tools for Windows Live developers on a single Microsoft Developer Network site.
"We are opening the Windows Live platform to third parties to create a virtuous ecosystem" for users, developers, partners, advertisers and Microsoft, said Brian Arbogast, corporate vice president for the MSN Communications Platform with the MSN and Personal Services Division.
Arbogast outlined for session attendees the set of programming interfaces that Microsoft now considers the core of its Windows Live developer platform.
At the "core" level, Arbogast said, Microsoft is making available to developers three sets of interfaces: contacts, identity and storage. Microsoft is expecting developers to build on top of these when devising new Windows Live services.
On top of that, Microsoft is offering developers an optional layer of Windows Live "common services," which include Windows Live Search, AdCenter, Presence, Mapping and Mobile interfaces. Developers can follow Microsofts own lead and embed these interfaces in any or all of the Windows Live services they design.
In addition, Microsoft is offering Windows Live applications and experiences, including Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, MSN Spaces, Windows Live Marketplaces, Windows Live video and Xbox Live gaming. The company is looking to third-party developers to build similar services, Arbogast said.