Microsoft Goes Live with Live.com Portal Plans

  |  November 2, 2005   |  Comments

The site is part of the software company's expansion of its ad-supported Web-based software applications.

Microsoft is taking online applications like instant messaging, blog hosting and Web-based email out of MSN and into a new ad-supported offering called Windows Live. MSN will continue as a programmed content network with links to the Windows Live services.

"MSN reaches a powerful audience; Windows Live will extend our advertiser offering under the brand of Microsoft Windows…. It will assist in unifying consumers' information, interests and relationships though an initial offering of email, messenger, search, Live.com and other services," wrote MSN Media Chief Revenue Officer Joanne Bradford in a letter to advertisers. "With Windows Live, Live.com and MSN, we are creating an array of powerful new advertising opportunities to reach our engaged consumers."

The move follows Microsoft's September reorganization that brought MSN under the same umbrella as Windows. Live.com is the production name of Microsoft's Start.com, a project which has been in development for the past nine months, according to the new Windows Live blog.

At the heart of Windows Live is the Live.com hub, a fully customizable start page which uses RSS and AJAX to connect users to the various services. Windows Live Messenger will bring IM, file and photo sharing, and PC-based calling of MSN Messenger to the platform. Windows Live Mail is a new Web-based email service designed to be faster, safer, and simpler than Hotmail, which it is replacing.

Windows Live adds some new services as well, providing a free on-demand virus scanning and removal tool; a subscription-based "PC health" service with anti-virus, firewall, PC maintenance, and data backup and restore capabilities; and a service to let users access Internet Explorer favorites from multiple PCs.

Windows Live will primarily be free to users and supported by advertising, with some subscription and transaction-based services also available. It will add inventory that will be managed by MSN's adCenter platform, which launched in France and Singapore in September, and is in a pilot stage in the U.S. The company has hinted that adCenter could be used to serve ads into Web-based applications in the past, along with ads on Web sites and in interactive TV.

At the time, MSN SVP Yusuf Mehdi said, "Advertising is no longer an MSN effort. It's a Microsoft effort. [We will] bring advertising into all of our experiences, whether it's a Windows experience or an Office experience." Mehdi mentioned platforms such as Microsoft TV, Xbox 360 and phones as other likely targets to display advertising.

Microsoft also previewed Office Live and Xbox Live Tuesday -- initiating a company-wide focus on new delivery and business models for its software. Office Live is expected to launch as an invitation-only beta in early 2006.

"Our dream is to deliver a seamless experience where all the technology in your life and business comes together in a way that 'just works' for you," said Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief technical officer. "Seamless experiences put people and the things they want to accomplish at the center, with technology easily and transparently connecting them to the people, devices and information that matter most."

Office Live, a set of Web-based services designed to integrate with its offline Office applications, offers small businesses Web and email hosting, along with subscription-based access to more than 20 hosted business applications. Tasks addressed by initial Office Live applications include project management, sales and collateral management, customer management, expense reports, time and billing management, and secure internal and external collaboration.

The service is comparable to the rumored offering that Google and Sun were expected to announce last month, if not the reality. The two were widely rumored to be developing a hosted office suite, based on Sun's OpenOffice.org open source productivity suite, and distributed by Google. The announced news was much less earth-shattering -- a partnership where Sun would distribute Google's toolbar with its Java Runtime Environment downloads and hints that they would begin to "explore opportunities to promote and enhance Sun technologies" including OpenOffice.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Newcomb

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Fort MillWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager to join the...
    • Online Marketing Coordinator
      Online Marketing Coordinator (NewMarket Health) - BaltimoreWant to learn marketing from the best minds in the business? NewMarket Health, a subsidiary...
    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...