Zack Whittaker was on compassionate leave when this was posted; posted offline and scheduled to release during this week.
For many weeks, months, and I'd even say for around a year now, the kind gentry over at LiveSide have been keeping us up to date with Windows Live this and that. Wave 3, the next rollout of the Windows Live suite, seems to be literally just around the corner.
The managed beta begins next week; with select "Butterfly" testers from all around the world already beginning the initial signup process. So what's new, and what does it mean to us students?
Over the course of Windows Live, springing from a mere thought in 2004, developing into a blossoming development in early 2006, and rolling out by Christmas that year, we've seen all kinds of products evolve and crawl to the surface. Windows Live Messenger, one of the world's biggest instant messaging networks, was the first to pop through the "Live" barrier, with Hotmail following soon after.
With FolderShare, Live Mesh, Live Favourites, Live Search, Live Spaces and Live Labs stemming from the long tree of never-ending products, it looks as if we may start to see some actual integration; seamless transitions from one product to another, allowing us to communicate, work, express and socialise.
For as long as I can remember, from first being introduced to Windows Live at a Microsoft "secret" conference in January 2006 in London, things haven't always gone brilliantly. With user interface inconsistencies, service outages, products being dropped for no reason, products being merged into others without mention, and the controversy of Windows Live being "part of" Windows Vista, it really hasn't had an easy ride.
Many see Windows Live at the moment as "a bit of fun", rather than "a series of tools, platforms and services which can trasform our lives." When more comes to light next week, I'll show you the new features which will not only start the cogs clicking for development addition ideas, but will also start to make life easier for those who juggle workloads and social lives.