Friday, November 14, 2008

Microsoft combines email and social networking

As web portals like Yahoo and AOL try to open up to the rest of the web by incorporating content from third-party websites, Microsoft has taken a bold step in the same direction by redefining its Windows Live software and websites as a social network.

The software giant re-launched several of its Live websites on Wednesday, combining its popular email and instant messaging services with other web applications.

Just like a standard social network, users can now build their own profile pages, but Microsoft also lets users incorporate content they've made on other websites, including Flickr, DailySlides, LinkedIn, Pandora, Photobucket, Twitter, 160Tag, WordPress and Yelp.

"Our customers have friends across the web," said Chris Jones, VP of Windows Live Experience Program Management in a press release. "They communicate through many unconnected web services and want access to it all from a single location -- without worrying about how it's done."

Windows Live users are automatically logged on to the Windows Live Messenger IM client to communicate with friends. Other services include an online movie making program and a "groups" service that lets users share photos and documents and chat with each other online.

The new Windows Live also includes several elements that come straight from the most popular social networks, including the "what's new feed," a feature very similar to Facebook's newsfeed.

While AOL and Yahoo have both been moving toward a more open and social internet, Microsoft has seemingly passed both of them by. It also puts Microsoft in position to wrestle away advertising dollars from its biggest rival, Google, which also offers email, chat and document sharing services.

as reported by iMedia Connection

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