The New York Times reported yesterday that Microsoft is planning on rolling out a common installer for many of the applications in its Live Software suite. The article from the NYT is very positive calling it a "Netscape-Level Event" implying that it will be as game changing as the free release of Internet Explorer which eventually killed off Netscape. I've always thought the Live platform was great and even though Google and Amazon get all the warm fuzzies, there is a lot of software know-how in Redmond and a lot of money to build this thing out.
What caught my eye the most, however was the very last paragraph in the article:
On Friday, a spokesman for Microsoft said that services that take advantage of the Web standards effort like Silverlight, a new system for displaying multimedia content via a Web browser that competes with Adobe’s Flash media player, would not be included in the first release of Windows Live, but would be added in the future.
I think this means two things. The first is that we could see things like Top Banana or Popfly be included under the Live umbrella. Both are interesting bits of software and as Microsoft expands the suite they would expand the diversity. Microsoft also has the Silverlight streaming service which would fit nicely alongside the rest of the Live services. The second thing is that we could see Silverlight become a part of other services. Anything leveraging video could benefit from a Silverlight-makeover but really any of the web-based versions of the software could be given a huge user interface boost with Silverlight. It wouldn't surprise me if they bundled the Silverlight plugin with the new installer as well.