You may recall my post back in February in which I outlined how confused Microsoft's brand was with the introduction of Windows Live. I wrote at the time:
"On the one hand, MSN is their established brand for content. But on the other hand, they've begun to re-name all their services products under the banner "Live" [...] MSN (The Microsoft Network) has stood the test of time and so will be very hard for Microsoft to drop. But they can't have it both ways - if they truly believe content is a two-way experience now, then Live services fall under that umbrella."
Recently Live.com program manager Sanaz Ahari posted on her blog about the issue:
"a little while ago i posted an entry claiming that our brand confusion of msn vs. live was kinda clear. it's become increasingly apparent to me that it's far from it.
our users don't give a damn whether it's a service or a content site... the fact that we have to explain 'msn money is a content site' and 'window live mail' is a service is pretty broken. imagine explaining that to anybody that isn't in the tech industry (it's not even clear to the ones that are in the tech industry) :)
i think this is a classic example of too many people involved in making a decision, one that probably took many months to make and the solution was to make everyone happy instead of making some hard calls in order to do the right thing for the customer. it's not a question of which brand is better, it's about picking one, sticking by it and not looking back. keeping both only depreciates both brand values."
I totally agree and I'm glad Microsoft is re-evaluating the branding between MSN and Live, because it certainly does need to be clarified. My vote is for the Live brand, because it's more in line with Microsoft's Software as a Service strategy.