‘Nemo’: Another Microsoft mashup in the making

Another day, another mashup. Isn’t Microsoft’s “Nemo

Another day, another mashup. Isn’t Microsoft’s “Nemo” – an as-yet-unannounced Windows Live service uncovered this week by the sleuths over at LiveSide.Net --just more of the same?

I think Nemo’s a lot more interesting than your average conglomeration of an online map and a search engine. And here’s why:

Nemo, according to the LiveSiders, is an amalgamation of Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Call into a single interface. Think of it almost like a “Windows Live Media Center” product, LiveSide says. The product will be an adjunct to Windows Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate, the LiveSiders add.

(While Microsoft isn’t talking about Nemo, the LiveSiders have a great accuracy track record, when it comes to new Live codenames and products.)

As folks struggling to make sense of the evolving Windows Live puzzle know, Microsoft is doing a lot of cross-services integration within its own Live family. Live Messenger, Live Contacts and Live Mail are showing up in other Live services, such as the Live Spaces social-networking/blogging platform, for example. The Windows Live Expo classifieds service exposes Live Messenger, Live Spaces and Live Local mapping info.

At the same time, Microsoft is continuing its mission to build out Windows Live as a development platform. Earlier this year, at the Microsoft Mix ’06 conference, the Sofites outlined three tiers of interfaces Microsoft planned to make available to Microsoft’s own and third-party developers:

• Core interfaces: Contacts, Identity and Storage

• Common services: Live Search, adCenter, presence, mapping, mobile

• Applications and experiences: Live Mail, Messenger, Spaces, Marketplaces, video (“Warhol,” a k a “Soapbox on MSN Video”) and Xbox Live gaming.

Microsoft has made software development kits (SDKs) available for Live Search, Messenger, Expo, Custom Domains, Virtual Earth and Gadgets. An SDK Windows LiveID, its Passport replacement, is due out any time now. Going forward, Microsoft officials have said to expect Microsoft to mash up the Windows LiveID application programming interface (API) with other Windows client-based APIs.

All this said, Microsoft’s not ahead of the mashup pack, by any measure I see. Google and Yahoo seem to be on relatively parallel tracks. My blogging colleague Garett Rogers recently noted that Google has registered as of late a flurry of search-specific mashup domain names.

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