Microsoft finally is adding integration with a wider variety of third-party social networks and content to Windows Live.
From Microsoft's Web site, where there's an April 21 interview with Brian Hall, General Manager of the Windows Live Buiness group:
"We're releasing an important update to Windows Live that’s really about two things. First is that we’ve added 20 new third-party content partners that you can integrate with Windows Live, bringing the total number of third-party content partners to more than 30."
(It sounds like that rollout is happening over the next week.)
Secondly, Microsoft is adding MySpace, hi5 and Tagged to its list of Live contact partners to ease invitaions between those sites and Windows Live, as opposed to maintaining a different set of contacts on each site. And Microsoft is allowing Windows Live users to add updates into their news feeds from other social-networking sites like Facebook, SmugMug, Digg, metroFLOG (in Argentina), Hyves (Netherlands) and Arto (Denmark).
In related news, Microsoft has rolled out to existing Hotmail users in a number of countries a new feature that allows them to send instant messages to their Windows Live Messenger contacts from inside Hotmail. (Microsoft advertises this as something users might want to do if they are working inside a browser on a PC or device where IM isn't already installed.)
Back to today's social-networking stuff. Ever since I upgraded to the latest wave of Windows Live last fall, I've been wondering whether it was worth maintaining my separate Windows Live space. It looked a lot like Facebook -- except with no action and more spam. Almost none of my Windows Live contacts was doing anything other than joining one another's networks. Maybe the addition of new partners will change that.