So, to purposely change the subject…. So, Microsoft has released the second version of their Windows Live set of services/applications. As I have written here before I have been using them to include each of the beta versions. Yes, I have a Yahoo mail account as well as a google account but the Windows Live suite is much better in my opinion. The Live version of calendar isn’t out yet, but there has been a beta version (very lacking in features but a nice interface). In all of this I am curious what happens to MSN. I never did like the butterfly but I have maintained my MSN account, first for convenience of having dial-up capabilities and now just because it is consistent no matter what ISP I use. So back to the topic at hand, Windows Live Version 2 (Mail, Messenger, Spaces, Online Safety, etc… is available for install. If you have been using the beta versions not much has changed. First addition that I find interesting is the ability to post your online (Messenger/IM) status on any web page. Using the provided code you can display a window that shows your online status and even initiate a messenger conversation. Below is how it displays on my website (http://www.kavanaghtech.net):
This site, my Windows Live Space, has seen some changes. One of the cool things for those of us who use the service is the new "Spaces Home", which allows you to check your space’s status, count of visitors, new comments or messages. They have added what people call a "Facebook" (yeah I tried this as well as MySpace and they both have cult-like followings but not for me) like way of showing all the updates from your friends. A little busy but interesting.
Mail, again no major changes but I like the new web interface (way beyond hotmail) plus there is an e-mail application that you can use on your computer that provides some more advanced features. Formatting e-mails, adding pictures, attaching files and even viewing e-mail is vastly improved and looking at the Yahoo and Google e-mail services I just don’t think there is a comparison.
Some of the other cool services are starting to get more time as well. Live Maps (http://maps.live.com/) has added some 3D tools as well as some great ways to interact with maps and create your own collections.
Another cool service, and not one that I will use very often but if I do…, is the Translator (http://translator.live.com) service, and this can be added right to your web page or blog, much like the messenger status display.
Now if the new Zune software due out on November 13 could only tie into Windows Live better….