Just visited live.com (it’s set as my home page) and got a giant surprise: lots of new features for this rapidly advancing portal site. I spotted at least the following new features:
- Fantastic new inline window popups (hover your mouse over the [more] tag to see what I mean)
- Streamlined gadget directory
- Multiple pages with renaming
- New look and feel for the site and gadgets (check out the new weather gadget)
- Zoomable visualizations for search (summary to expanded results)
Looks very nice – good use of AJAX and probably the most functional portal out there right now. Obviously it’s a pale shadow of what we’ll be able to do with WPF when Windows Vista releases, but it’s a big step forward from the old days of content sites that decided what news you saw and how it was presented. As RSS becomes all-pervasive, sites like live.com will become even more powerful as an aggregation point for things that matter, and of course with custom gadgets it’s possible to take this still further and turn it into a company portal that combines internal and external content seamlessly.