Wonking Windows Live
If you're like me, you've been alternately hopeful, disappointed and downright
dismayed by the uneven progress around Microsoft's Live efforts over the past
year or so. A lot of it, I think, comes from the cart being thrust a couple
hundred miles in front of the horse.
After all, who can forget the relentless over-branding of Live, which produced
an utterly opaque clutter of online sites and services? Like the senseless .NET
mania that infected nearly every Microsoft product launch in 2001 and 2002,
the panicked rush to slap a Live sticker on every new Web offering served one
effective purpose: to confuse customers.
It honestly worries me that a strategic software company like Microsoft can
let itself fall prey to irrational brand exuberance. But it happens.
So imagine my relief upon hearing Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Ray Ozzie
lay out a strategic Live platform vision to an assembled group of industry watchers
at the annual Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting in Redmond last week. Ozzie
details a four-level platform that defines Live, finally providing a common
ground for all Live products and services. The four levels are:
- Global Foundation Services: The hardware and data centers that support
and deliver sundry Web services
- Cloud Infrastructure Services: What Ozzie called the "utility
computing fabric," this layer enables critical app management, load balancing
and deployment activities
- Live Platform Services: A common layer of application services such
as communications, identity management and (notably) the advertising platform
- Live Applications: The customer-facing software and interfaces that
enable everything from creating and sharing documents to advertising
You can read the report from RDN News Editor Chris Kanaracus here.
The good news is that everyone in Redmond crafting Live services and products
should now be working toward a common target -- a far cry from the disjointed
efforts we've seen to date. And all those efforts should tie neatly into the
growing body of Software-plus-Services work that will be so critical moving
The bad news? We're 12 to 18 months from seeing Microsoft deliver a coherent
foundation for corporate developers to build against.
For now, it's time to watch, learn and prepare as Microsoft finally starts
working toward a workable vision for the Live platform.
What do you think of Microsoft's plan? Do you have any advice for Microsoft
as it starts forging a framework for its fledgling Live platform? E-mail me
Posted by Michael Desmond on 08/01/2007 at 1:15 PM