Windows Live: The 50,000-Foot View

Q&A: Microsoft has been rolling out Windows Live services in a breakneck and seemingly haphazard way. Is there a method to Redmond's services madness? Windows Live Platform Group head Blake Irving says yes.

When it comes to Windows Live, there are a lot more questions than there are answers (at least public ones).

Is there any rhyme or reason as to what Microsoft is launching as an add-on service, versus a bundled feature? Is there any intentional order in the rollout of Windows Live services? When will these services move from beta to final status?

Since the Microsoft Live strategy rollout on November 1 last year, Microsoft has provided very little detail on the companys high-level thinking about Windows Live. In February, we had a chance to ask some of our many Windows Live questions—via a one-way e-mail interview only, unfortunately – of Blake Irving, corporate vice president of the Windows Live Platform Group at Microsoft.

A transcript of the Microsoft Watch Q&A between Microsoft Watch Editor Mary Jo Foley and Windows Lives Irving follows. This transcript has been edited for length.

Microsoft Watch (MSW): When I define Windows Live (in ten words or less), I call it Microsofts services extensions to Windows. Do you have a better shorthand way to refer to Live? Is Live really more than MSN services rebranded – another definition some have applied to it?

Irving: When I explain Windows Live, I describe a service that seamlessly brings Web experiences together with Windows software and provides greater relevance in peoples lives. Saying that Windows Live is simply extensions to Windows is too Windows-centric, and saying that it is MSN services rebranded also sells Windows Live short.

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