On his istartedsomething.com blog, Long Zheng points to a November 9 job posting from Microsoft. Web pontificators, including Zheng, are reading the ad as saying Microsoft is interested in building a head-to-head competitor with Flickr.
"Come make Windows Live the best place to share your digital memories! Heard of Flickr? YouTube? How about. Mac? This role will work across the new Windows Live division with teams like Spaces, SkyDrive, Messenger and Hotmail to construct a winning strategy for Microsoft in photo and video sharing."
I think Microsoft has its sites set on developing something much grander than Flickr. I read this ad as Microsoft building an Apple iLife competitor. Word of such a competitor first surfaced over a year ago. At that time, it was a Microsoft project code-named "Monaco." From what I heard, Monaco initially was positioned to be a music-making program, akin to Apple's GarageBand.
But Monaco -- or its successor -- might be something bigger. The Digital Memories Experience (DMX) team, which is the one advertising for the program manager opening, is part of the Windows Live Experience division (WLX/LEX), "which also includes Mail, Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, Spaces, Writer, Calendar, and Family Safety."
Apple's iLife suite is comprised of GarageBand; iPhoto, a photo-management app; iMovie (a movie-making application); the iMac gallery (for photo and video library sharing); iWeb, a Web-site creation tool; and iDVD, a DVD creation tool. Microsoft already has most of these bases covered on the software front, but it has yet to develop serices complements for many of them.
What do you think -- can and should Microsoft field a suite of consumerish/creative-focused suite of Windows Live services akin to Apple's iLife?