Back in March, I heard Microsoft was going to replace some of the applications it traditionally has bundled with Windows
subsystems with Windows Live services in Windows 7.
No one on the Windows team would confirm my tip. But on September 22, the Windows Live team admitted -- not to me, but to News.com's Ina Fried -- that this is, indeed, the plan.
Windows 7's mail, photo-management and movie-maker
subsystems applets are all being replaced by optionally installable Windows Live equivalents. This is good news for users, as services are easier to update more frequently than software. It's also good news for Microsoft, a company that has come under increasing attack by antitrust regulators for bundling more and more previously discrete features into its operating system.
Microsoft Windows chief Steven Sinofsky recently poured cold water (in a long and complex post to the "Engineering Windows 7" blog) on the idea that Microsoft was moving to decouple any of the bundled features/functionality from Windows 7. But Windows Live General Manager Brian Hall was more direct and forthcoming. From News.com's latest report:
"In a follow-up interview on Monday, Windows Vista general manager Brian Hall said Microsoft made the decision to remove the tools from Windows for several reasons, including a desire to issue new operating system releases more quickly than it has in the past. The move also removes the confusion of offering and supporting two different programs that perform essentially similar functions."
(Thanks to LiveSide for helping me connect the dots regarding the specifics as to Microsoft planned to do to more tightly integrate Windows 7 and Windows Live.)
Any other Windows features and/or bundled applications you think Microsoft should turn into optionally-installable services?