Once more (with feeling): What is Windows Live?

Summary:Microsoft has been struggling for the past year to provide a succinct and understandable definition of Windows Live. Steve Berkowitz, the senior vice president of Microsoft's online services group, finally may have come up with one.

Microsoft has been struggling to explain “Windows Live” ever since Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie officially unveiled Microsoft’s Live plans on November 1, 2005.

Today, I had a chance to ask Steve Berkowitz, the senior vice president of Microsoft’s online services group (and prior to joining Microsoft in April 2006, the AskJeeves CEO) to define Windows Live. He provided what I consider the best and most understandable definition of Windows Live I’ve seen to date.

Live consists of three distinct, yet interrelated, parts, Berkowitz said. There’s the Live platform (about which I’ll be blogging more later today); the individual Live services (Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live Expo, etc.); and the Live experiences, or user interfaces. Berkowitz describes “experiences” as “ways to enter the Internet” – search, commerce, entertainment portals (such as MSN.com) and community.

Berkowitz oversees the Windows Live profit and loss center; sales and marketing; business development; and customer satisfaction programs. He also is in charge of all of MSN, as well as adCenter, Microsoft’s advertising platform.

Topics: Windows


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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