Microsoft has begun rolling out the Windows Live Wave 3 services it announced last month.
As company officials noted in November, Microsoft is delivering the final version of its Live Wave 3 services and applications in phases. (Based on Microsoft's diagram, it looks like we're in Phase 1, I'd guess.)
Microsoft isn't yet rolling out the final version of the Wave 3 versions of its Windows Live Essentials Suite (the combined Software+Services wares that are part of Windows Live). Instead, what is rolling out this week includes the services-onlyWindows Live deliverables, including "new version of Windows Live Home, Spaces, Events, and SkyDrive, as well as completely new web services such as Windows Live Groups, Photos, and Profile," explains Microsoft in a blog posting dated December 2. The new versions of these services are available at home.live.com.
Speaking about Windows Live and Microsoft's Software+Services roadmap, Microsoft also went public today with its "Generation 4 Datacenter" strategy. A company spokesperson sent the following synopsis:
"The concept behind the modular data center builds on the innovation at Microsoft’s Chicago data center, which houses shipping containers packed with up to 2,500 servers each. A container facility helps ensure that we don’t overbuild server capacity, while allowing the company to reduce the time to build a data center from 24 to 12 months. Microsoft’s 'Gen 4' modular data centers will take the flexibility of containerized servers and apply it across the entire facility, which will be composed of modular 'building blocks' of prefabricated mechanical, electrical and security components, in addition to containerized servers. These facilities can be built incrementally as capacity grows and deployed in only 3 to 6 months, reducing capital costs by 20 – 40 percent."
(A December 2 blog post by Global Foundation Services General Manager Mike Manos explains the Gen4 strategy and plan in greater depth.)
Microsoft is planning to build at least 20 supersize (and one would assume, Gen4-based) datacenters at $1 billion a piece over the next several years, according to a recent BusinessWeek story.