I'm in the Windows Live opening session at day 2 of Mix and Brian Arbogast is providing some great news about where we're going in this area.
He has talked about 5 Windows Live APIs that are being made available:
1) Silverlight streaming that I blogged about yesterday
2) Live Spaces photos: API access to photos stored on Windows Live Spaces. See http://dev.live.com/spacescontrol/
3) Live Contacts: We have already had a "contacts control" for some time, however we're now allowing developers a ful API to access Windows Live contacts without using the control. See http://dev.live.com/contacts/
4) Windows Maps with Virtual Earth: We have released v5 of Virtual Earth, see http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2007/04/28/virtual-earth-version-5-is-now-live.aspx
5) Windows Live Search: With the Web Service, you can query for web results, images, news, phonebook listings, feeds, and metatags. See http://dev.live.com/livesearch/
He also talked about the very clear new commercial terms for each of these services:
1) Silverlight streaming: 4GB free space, free unlimited streaming for a year up to 700 Kbps, 10 mins max video length, and free up to 1 million mins/month at launch
2) Spaces photos: unlimited free use of web control and API if you have less than 1 million unique users per month, above that ad revenue sharing or pay $0.25 per unique user per year.
3) Contacts: Exactly the same terms as Spaces.
4) Virtual Earth free limit raised limit to 3 million map tiles per month, which is a huge number. It was pretty impressive before but this means that the vast majority of sites will be able to use our mapping services for free.
5) Live search: 750,000 queries per month free, which includes use of search control and soap API.
This is some great news and I want to explain why. For me, there are four important points to make here:
- Microsoft has a huge, huge social networking presence already with Live Messenger, Live Hotmail and Live Spaces. We're increasingly allowing developers to make use of that data and the success of these services
- We have a very clear commercial business model - there's real clarity of how it works and we're commited to keeping that clarity
- We are here for the long haul. We're not at risk of disappearing overnight
- We have a long track record of working with developers and we're committed to making sure that these services are developer focused and developer friendly.
I don't believe there is anyone else out there who can make these claims. The announcements today are just the tip of the iceberg, you will see a significant ramp up in activity around Windows Live over the coming months.