Will Microsoft integrate other Live services with the Xbox?

Will Microsoft integrate other Live services with the Xbox?

Summary: Microsoft's announcement on April 9 that it will integrate Windows Live Messenger into the Xbox 360 got me thinking about what other Windows Live services might be a natural complement to Microsoft's gaming console/service.

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TOPICS: Windows
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Microsoft's announcement on April 9 that it will integrate Windows Live Messenger into the Xbox 360 got me thinking about what other Windows Live services might be a natural complement to Microsoft's gaming console/service.

Might the Softies integrate Windows Live Product Search with Xbox Live? Windows Live Alerts?

Microsoft isn't talking, but Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff had an interesting take on what might -- and might not be -- next.

"There's been some integration between Messenger and Xbox Live for several years now," Rosoff said. Once Microsoft delivers its May update, "you'be been able to access Messenger buddylists and send one-way text messages (e.g., game invitations). And two-way voice chat is an integral feature of Xbox Live. This simply adds two-way text chat between PC and Xbox."

Are there more Live integrations in Xbox's future?

"Microsoft positions the Xbox primarily a game console, secondarily as a home entertainment device. (The Xbox) is not intended to be an all-in-one Internet access device, or a replacement for the PC. So I don't think they'll add connectivity to too many Windows Live services," Rosoff said. "For instance, I don't think they'd get enough extra eyeballs to Live Search to make the integration worthwhile. More likely would be connectivity to MSN's content services -- for example, making it easy to watch MSN Video on the console."

Any Windows Live services you'd like to see mashed up with Xbox Live?

Topic: Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • They really should've called it simply "Microsoft Live"

    Makes zero sense* that Xbox users are using a service called "Windows Live Messenger." Wasn't the whole point of the Windows Live branding, that they are services that complement/enhance the Windows OS/experience? How does using an Xbox have anything to do with the Windows OS?

    Would have been much better for it to simply be "Microsoft Live" -- prevents oddities like Xbox having its own Xbox Live services but then also using some Windows Live services.

    * Not that anything MS has ever done has ever made any sense...
    PB_z
    • You misunderstand Windows Live

      Windows live is not intended to be about enhancing the Windows desktop experience - at least not exclusively. Windows Live is a platform play - provide a set of services that the average developer doesn't need nor want to create himself - so that applications can be build using those services.

      Here'a simple analogy. Before Windows, each developer essentially had to write the code that created windows and buttons for their application. Microsoft introduced Windows with all of the class libraries and OS services bulit into it so that developers didn't have to do that kind of plumbing anymore. This is what every OS does - Mac or Linux etc - they take care of basic functions of the computer so that the developer can focus on more intersting things that add value to the user.

      Windows Live is attempting to do the same thing except that the services it provides are "cloud" services like authentication, supporting for IM, buddy lists etc. These are services that, theoretically, each deveoper could develop on his own but why would he want to? Why not let Microsoft (or Google or others) build the massively expensive infrastructure that it takes to run those types of services? So, if they're successful, developers will start building apps that take advantage of the Windows Live "services" platform just as they take advantage of Windows desktop API's and services.

      Make sense?

      Who knows if they'll be successful but there are only a handful of companies in the world that have the software skills/IP and financial resources to run these types of services. Google is clearly one. Maybe Yahoo is another. Companies like Salesforce.com are trying to become platforms but in a more limitd way. I'm sure there are others that have hopes but do they have the billiions of $$ it will take to compete?
      marksashton