Now, what do these services mean for the developer community? As always, developers within and outside Microsoft will remain Microsoft’s core constituency. There are 2 things that I think about in this context:
- A set of services that we want to provide which will make it easy for developers to develop applications and services using VS. We took some baby steps with VS 2005 in terms of community integrated search for sample code, starter kits, help information and the like. There is a lot more that we can and need to do here.
- Support for features in Visual Studio that makes it a great set of development tools for developers to be able to build and consume services. Again, you can do that with VS 2005 today (creating and consuming Web Services) and with subsequent versions of VS, you will see a lot more here.
We will not only offer Windows Live and Office Live as consumer services but also make them available as rich development platforms. Developers will be able to customize, enhance and innovate on top of these services. Here is one scenario that we have talked about in the past - developers targeting the real estate market will be able to use Microsoft Virtual Earth and Windows Live to offer an innovative, dynamic, real-time property mapping service. Another example that comes to mind is that developers can easily integrate a powerful search engine into their applications, customize email and messaging clients to offer unique communication experiences and enable their applications to create powerful connected applications with few lines of code.
Check out the Windows Live Ideas page to try out some of the new services. John Montgomery (who was most recently in Developer Marketing) is now a program manager on my team thinking about what we should be doing in Developer Division to support the “live” world. If you have ideas for that, please let him know.