Microsoft announced Windows Live back in November. Since then I’ve used several of the new services, including my favorite – Windows Live Local (previously MSN Virtual Earth in an earlier incarnation). One service to which I just couldn’t see any benefit yet (I know, it’s still beta) was Windows Live Favorites.
Years ago Netscape 4 had a feature I loved – roaming profiles. You could set up a directory for WebDAV access or a proprietary module for Apache – if I recall correctly – and your profile would be downloaded when the browser suite opened and uploaded again when the browser was closed. No matter where I went so long as I enabled the feature my bookmarks, certificates, and various other settings came with me. Firefox didn’t support it out of the box and newer Netscape versions built on the new Gecko rendering engine didn’t either. Oh well, at this point with all the developer features I was using IE almost exclusively. I did miss, however, this roaming capability at least with my favorites.
Windows Live Favorites almost filled this gap. You could import your favorites but you had to go to the page to use them. I didn’t find much value in that since it’s always an extra click or two. Then today I found that they now have an add-in to the MSN Search Toolbar, which I use on all my machines already.
Once you sign-in with your Microsoft Passport you can use the Internet Explorer sidebar (“Explorer Bar”) that looks similar to your actual Favorites explorer bar.
Finally I don’t have to incessantly try to manage my favorites across all my machines both at work and at home.