According to the independent LiveSide.net site that tracks all things Microsoft-Live-related, Microsoft is kicking off the official Windows Live Wave 3 family of betas on September 17 -- and they have a download link from Microsoft.com to prove it.
Wave 3 is the newest release of the core Windows Live suite of software and services. In the new suite, unified via a common installer, are updated versions of Windows Live Messenger instant-messaging; Windows Live Mail (with a new and improved Live Calendar); Windows Live Writer blog-posting tool; Windows Live Movie Maker; Windows Live Photo Gallery, the Family Safety parental control tools and the Outlook Connector.
Microsoft has been planning and crafting Windows Live Wave since at least August 2007, as detailed in an internal Microsoft planning memo that I included as part of the supporting documentation for my Microsoft 2.0 book.
As I've noted previously, Windows Live Wave 3 and Windows 7 are being designed to be tightly integrated from the get-go. Does that mean the final versions of Windows Live Wave 3 and Windows 7 will coincide? I'm not sure, but I'd bet Live Wave 3 will go gold some time in early 2009, while Windows 7 will cross the finish line toward the latter part of next year.
For reviews of each of the individual Live 3 services, check out LiveSide.