Windows Live looks like Microsoft’s tardy and half-baked answer to My Yahoo! It’s a customizable portal, with placeholders for weather and news and feed subscriptions etc. According to Bill Gates’ announcement today (video at CNET), Windows and Office are not required to use Windows Live. But try it from Safari on your Mac, and you’ll get just a fraction of the page (only an MSN search box). On Firefox (at least on Mac) you’ll see this:
Firefox support is coming soon. Please be patient 🙂
You know, a garage startup can maybe get away with this kind of thing. But this is Microsoft! And the announcement was a major event, not some leak of an internal research project. OK, so it works only in IE, and I guess Windows Live is destined to be the home page for millions of unsuspecting users of the next version of IE. But if Microsoft wants the rest of us to pay attention and if it wants to be taken seriously in its efforts to catch up with the new realities of Web-as-Desktop (call it whatever you want, but don’t call it Web 2.0), then it has to demonstrate that it’s a) adding some value — that’s TBD for Windows Live — and b) not going to make a fool of itself by trying to bring its insidious embrace-and-extend practices to Web content. That would be fun to watch, though. Never a dull moment … [nor a productive one].