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Think Microsoft's 'Live' branding is confusing? Just wait

Things are about to get even more murky on the Live branding front. At this week's CES, Microsoft showed off some demonstrations of Live Anywhere. But officials didn't use that terminology. Instead, Live Anywhere is now known as "Live." Plain old Live.

Anyone who has attempted to keep track of which services Microsoft is rechristening as "Live" versus branding as MSN knows there's little (if any) rhyme or reason to Microsoft's madness.

(I think I saw a sign in the Microsoft booth at the Consumer Electronics show this week for "Windows Live Streets and Trips." Is "Windows Live Money" next? Or will Microsoft keep the MSN Money brand around? Who knows?)

 Windows Live and MSN side-by-side at CES

Things are about to get even more murky on the Live branding front. Remember "Live Anywhere" -- the service that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates unveiled at last year's E3 conference? Live Anywhere, according to the Softies, would allow gamers on a variety of platforms -- starting with the Xbox and Windows PCs, and some time later, cell phones -- to play against one another.

At this week's CES, Microsoft showed off some demonstrations of Live Anywhere. But officials didn't use that terminology. Instead, Live Anywhere is now known as "Live." Plain old Live. If you are running the service on your PC, it's Live on Windows. If it's on your device, Live on Mobile.

So now there's "Windows Live" and "Live on Windows." Where's the naming police when you really need them?

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