Microsoft is tuning its vision for the the Windows Live Platform which is at the center of its Windows Live strategy.
The Windows Live development platform that Microsoft envisions now is different in several key ways from the one that company officials outlined last year. At a January 7 session at Microsoft's Vista Lab in Las Vegas on the Live developer platform Scott Swanson, director of platform planning for Windows Live, outlined Microsoft's current and evolving vision the Live platform.
(Other Live team members showed us for the hundreth time the always-demo-friendly Virtual Earth mapping stuff. Unfortunately, we got no demos of Windows Live for TV, aka "Nemo"/"Orbit." And, as expected, there were no mentions of LiveDrive.)
Microsoft currently is working to create and open up two categories of Live application programming interfaces (APIs), Swanson said. One of these categories is infrastructure APIs, specifically, identity, relationship, storage, communications, payment/points, advertising and domain APIs. The other is application services APIs, including instant-messaging/VOIP, search, Spaces (blogging), mapping, mail/calendar and classifieds APIs.
Underlying all of these APIs is adCenter, Microsoft's online-advertising platform. And atop these two groups of APIs, Microsoft plans to deliver a common application framework for the Web, PCs and devices, Swanson said.
Microsoft plans to provide more details and deliverables in the Windows Live platform space by the time of its Mix '07 conference in late April, Swanson said.
"All of these will be released as services over time. But it will take a couple years to get all this stuff out," Swanson acknowledged.
Previously, Microsoft described its Windows Live platform in a slightly different (and vaguer) way. During a couple of different developer events in 2005, Microsoft described the Windows Live platform of consisting of three sets of APIs: contacts, identity and storage. Above this layer, Microsoft officials said they were building an optional layer of "common services," including Live Search, adCenter, presence, mapping and mobile interfaces. And atop this layer, in Microsoft's 2005 platform view, was a set of Live applications and experiences, like Live Mail, Live Messenger, Spaces, Live Marketplaces, Live video and Xbox Live gaming.
In Microsoft's new view of the Live Platform world, adCenter isn't optional; it's a mandatory, core element of the platform upon which Microsoft expects developers to build. And until now, the idea of a common developer framework of some kind has been implied, but not promised.