Microsoft's Windows Live services are living up to its name by going live, losing the "beta" label, and becoming available as a free, Windows suite of six Web-connected applications.
The suite includes Windows Live Mail, which integrates with Hotmail and supports POP and IMAP. Among the other complete desktop services are Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Writer for composing blog posts. Windows Live Photo Gallery manages picture albums that can be uploaded to Microsoft Spaces, MSN Soapbox, or Yahoo's Flickr.
Also final are Windows Live Spaces for blogging, the Windows Live Events invitation service, as … Read more
The wait for Microsoft's Live.com e-mail addresses is over.
Microsoft is now taking sign-ups (or at least it was a few minutes ago) at get.live.com. The company released the final version of Windows Live Hotmail a little while back, but has held off on releasing the Live.com domain for a while, though some folks did manage to snag a few addresses before now.
What worked for me was going to that Web site (make sure you are logged out of Windows Live), clicking Hotmail, and then signing up. Some people in the newsroom have reported … Read more
In my recent interview with Windows Live VP Chris Jones, I also got his take on whether Microsoft might take part in Google's just-announced OpenSocial platform as well as his thoughts on where the Mac fits into the Windows Live strategy. Here's what he had to say.
On OpenSocial: "I think on OpenSocial we're honestly just still looking at it. It's more of a gadget platform than a social-networking approach. It's a way to add gadgets to pages with a couple of extensions to it. That's been a very interesting thing for Facebook … Read more
They're called Battles, they're from New York, and after seeing them live for the first time on Saturday, I believe I've heard the future.
I'm not a huge fan of performances that rely heavily on turntables or samples or loops--I much prefer the interplay between musicians who are forced to pick out each note on their instruments, forced to listen and communicate and adjust almost continuously. But a lot of traditional "indie" rock bands play it safe, channeling the same dozen pop or punk influences into a predictable blend of three-to-five minute songs with … Read more
Pollstar magazine asks a good question: why aren't more artists recording their live concerts to CD and selling them at shows? I recall that the Pixies recorded most of the shows on their reunion tour in 2004, but I haven't seen many bands do it since.
Pollstar notes that some venues retain the rights to sell anything recorded there, while others charge artists a fee for the privilege of recording their own shows for resale later. (Fair enough--the venue has probably invested heavily in sound gear, or at the very least in acoustics, which may have an effect … Read more
And just when you thought there couldn't possibly be any more different trim lines for the Xbox 360, Microsoft goes and releases the worst kept secret in all of gaming, the Xbox 360 Arcade. While it's essentially just a souped-up version of the Core, the Arcade 360 does come with a few extras that may attract some uninformed buyers. Plus, the $280 price tag is awfully close to the Wii's cost of $250--so in theory, speaking in terms of price, an Xbox 360 Arcade would be the logical alternative to a Wii this holiday season.
So what does it come with? Bundled inside you'll find a wireless controller, unlike the Core's original wired offering, HDMI-out support, a 256MB memory card, and five Xbox Live Arcade games (Pac-Man Championship Edition, Uno, Luxor 2, Boom Boom Rocket, and Feeding Frenzy). All this in an effort to get consumers more familiar with Xbox Live Arcade and what it has to offer.
The price is certainly right, but here's why I don't think you should even bother with it.… Read more
Microsoft Live Labs has a new "technology preview" for you to play with. It's called Listas and it's basically a social bookmarking service for keeping track of content you come across while browsing the Web, and sharing it with others. Users can make their own containers full of all sorts of links, and supplement it with text, images, and RSS feeds using a WYSIWYG editor or by just pasting in entire Web pages from their text clipboard. The service is being billed as a way to make lists, but I think its core appeal will ultimately end up as a Web clippings service.
Oddly enough, Microsoft has had their TagSpaces service kicking around since April. TagSpaces gives users a bookmarklet to tag any item they've come across while browsing, and drops it into a giant pool of tags for everyone. Listas is clearly a more advanced effort, and one designed to handle media and collaboration a little better.