Live.com – what?


After my talk at Code Camp last week Tim has thrown in his opinion of Live.com (and Vista - but I'll deal with that in another post) along with Rick Strahl that he doesn't like (or in Ricks case doesn't get) Live.com.  Given it was my talk that started things, I feel obliged to respond 🙂


The first thing I need to point out is that Live.com is currently a "beta".  In the web 2.0 world this means less and less as so many applications are in "beta" which really means "its live but we are still working on it".  And indeed we are still working on it.  Its a work in progress, so I dont expect that everything will be perfect... and as I stated in my talk, the developer experience is not the good experience of ASP.Net... but lets see if we can fix that.


So first up - what is live.com and whats in it for us?  The answer to that was conveniently blogged by the live.com team yesterday, but to summarize Live.com will be:



  1. The best place to search the web
  2. A personalized portal
  3. Integrated access to Windows and Windows live services

Rick says Live.com is slow, Scott Issacs responded to that saying "yup, and we are working on it".  But Scott also has some interesting things to say about the way the Web 2.0 is pushing the limits of browser technology.  His post is worth a read.  In short - the performance problems will be fixed.


Tims also suggests(?) Microsoft being is being greedy, perhaps this comes from my comment that live.com will be the default home page for Vista? If so - then how is that any different from MSN being the default home page today?  Should we make the About:Default page the default - this would certainly be less "greedy", but then wouldn't this just annoy users who want to see something/anything appear?


The fact that live.com is much more functional and supports user preferred layout, etc means that this makes live.com a huge opportunity to get your site in front of new customers and keep it there. 


The key thing that websites want is visitors - they want their visitors to return and they want new visitors to arrive.  The problem is that they compete with every other website out there for the same goal, meaning they have to either be really compelling or they have to have a bunch of ways of staying in the customer face (such as ads on other sites, sponsored apps, etc).  Live.com and the windows sidebar is a gift to websites.  If a site owner creates a gadget for their site and users add that to their home page that site can reach the user without the user directly hitting their site, thus gadgets are creating the opportunity to add a new layer of stickiness to your site.


Is it just me? Nope - here's what others are saying...


Aber Whitcomb, CTO MySpace.com said in the Mix06 keynote (around the 34 min mark) 

"Powered by MySpace web services and RSS feeds; the MySpace "slides gadget" resides in the Windows Vista sidebar creating stickiness to our site that a web page can't match."
Note that MySpace.com is the 2nd biggest traffic website in the world (media metrics) ahead of google, ebay and msn - the same principle applies to gadgets on live.com.


eBay gets it too - eBay demo'ed a gadget at Mix (see video here and Alans session at Mix06 here)


Other members of our own community get it too.  Peter Jones - local MVP and DNUG guy reckons Live.com is a Google killer, although he still has reservations about it.


Mix06 had a number of sessions on live.com.  Go to the session listing and search for "live".  Particularly noteworthy are Ken Levy's session entitled "The Windows Live Platform: Build Applications That Have Access to 400 Million Address Books, and 13 Billion Contacts!"


I'm keen to hear from more people - what do you think of live.com?  What do you like?  What dont you like?  Does it make senese to you?


Tags: Live.com


Comments (4)
  1. Tim Haines says:

    My last blog post seems to have caused a bit of a stir.  It’s going to take me a few days to respond. …

  2. Garry Trinder says:

    Peter seemed to like my live.com talk… http://www.geekzone.co.nz/ptorrsmith/377

  3. We’ve been having this ongoing discussion about live.com… And at the same time I’ve increased my usage…

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