With its official announcement of the "Windows Live platform beta" at Mix '07 this week, Microsoft made available to developers a number of application programming interfaces (APIs) and controls upon which they can build their own applications and mashups.
Missing from the list were a couple of key building block services, specifically calendar and presence interfaces/services. But more information -- if not actual code -- on those two pieces is coming this summer, said Brian Arbogast, Corporate Vice President Windows Live Developer & Communications Platform.
"Presence is being infused in our (Windows Live) APIs," Arbogast told me during an interview this week at Microsoft's confab for Web developers and designers in Las Vegas. Expect to hear and see more this summer, he added, declining to provide more specifics.
(During Arbogast's May 1 keynote at Mix, Microsoft partner Match.com showed off a prototype of a double-blind instant-messaging application they've built using Microsoft's Live Presence technologies.)
And what about the long-awaited Microsoft Windows Live Calendar?
"Calendar will be a shared service and we'll be talking more about it this summer," Arbogast said.
Microsoft also is working on new controls and software development kits for adding ads into services, Arbogast said. No timing information on that one.
I also asked about when we'd hear more about the varied Windows Live storage services, such as FolderShare, LiveDrive, etc. Arbogast declined to provide any specifics. In general terms, "you will be able to get access to your information whenever you need it," Arbogast said. But he wouldn't detail what kinds of consumer-facing storage services Microsoft has on its books for announcement in the near or long term.
Microsoft's been focused on getting its Live house in order internally, Arbogast said.
"We've rewritten all our services from the time when they went big," he explained. "The 'V.Next' for all our services is more modular" and will be built on top of a consistent set of presence, data-relay and other APIs, Arbogast said.
That means more unification and less duplication. All members of the Windows Live family of services will use the same mail APIs, the same calendaring APIs, the same instant-messaging APIs, the same address book, etc.
"The storage investments we had used to be redundant across every (Windows Live) silo. The first thing we did was stop evolving each contact list (for each service) independently," Arbogast said.
Arbogast noted that Microsoft is not promising that every API at the heart of its infrastructure, foundation and application services in the Windows Live platform will be made broadly available. But it is preparing to release many of the core ones and is "talking to big sites about there about what it would take for us to power your experience," Arbogast said.