Microsoft, as expected, has announced their new "software as services" strategy, and it's basically taking all the "Web 2.0" buzz words, tying them up with existing Microsoft offerings and renaming the whole thing using the "Live" tag, which previously had just been used for the Xbox. Reading through the various comments from folks at the announcement it certainly seems like the "Live" vision isn't particularly clear. Most seem sort of confused by the whole thing. All of the descriptions are having trouble getting the point across: "Sounds like a bit of Web 2.0 mixed with Microsoft's live naming theme -- Live Meeting, XBox Live. Services = Software, in a broad way, from hosted services like email and CRM to MSN and mapping mashups." and "Windows Live, is not Windows. Rather, it's "Internet based personal services to bring together your digital world." But Windows Live isn't MSN.com either. It sounds basically like a new Web portal. Office Live sounds similar, but business focused and easy to integrate with Microsoft Office (but you don't need Office to use Office Live). Some of these Live services will be free, others will be subscription-based." Clear as mud. In the meantime, it appears that the folks on stage have discovered what we mentioned last month. With so much focus on network based applications, it certainly helps to have a reliable network that works. Whoops. Hurray for live demos.
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