expert opinion seems generally positive about what microsoft has put out there on live.com
i went and signed up on windows live; i actually wanted the small-business package for office live, but that is not going to be available for some time.
these guys are offering google the sincere flattery of imitation, eg. with all these 'beta' applications. microsoft has been shipping a lot of beta software for a long time, but they called it a product launch normally and charged customers for the pleasure of debugging their betas!
Well, the commenting community has had 24 hours now to digest Microsoft's announcement of Windows Live and Office Live , the vanguard of a new push into Web-based services, so let's put on the latex gloves and start digging through the output, a full load of opinions on what Live is, isn't or will become:
» Richard McManus: "My Day 1 impressions of Windows/Office Live are positive and I think Microsoft is taking up the challenge of an increasingly Web-based software world, while at the same time sticking to their desktop software knitting."
» Phil Wainewright : "Recognition is taking hold that traditionally licensed shrinkwrap software like Windows and Office are set to be roadkill in the path of the onward march of services architectures. But it's still in the company's interest to delay the ultimate slaughter of its cash cows for as long as possible — at least until it's been able to nurture some services-style replacements.
» Mary Jo Foley: "More than anything else, Tuesday was a rebranding event for Microsoft . And while MSN may not have been rebranded to Windows Live, almost all of the new, hot MSN deliverables have been. No two ways about that."
» Michael Arrington: "After what I saw today, I despair for many a Silicon Valley startup ."
» Russell Beattie: "Though it doesn't seem to make sense for Live to have the Windows or Office names right now - live.com is just another web dashboard at the moment - there are far more ambitious plans to come. The Windows and Office monikers are there because Microsoft will, of course, be up to it's old tricks by heavily integrating Live services into the desktop sucking the air supply out of any online competitors. It doesn't seem that they should be allowed to do this sort of thing, but the success of iTunes seems to have given them a new excuse to start tying products again. ... Yep, for Microsoft, Live isn't about Web 2.0 at all, it's all about Monopoly 4.0 ."» Tim O'Reilly: "Another key takeaway for me from this presentation was that Microsoft realizes the power of being able to build an integrated experience across a hardware device, a software application, and an Internet service. Ray Ozzie cited iTunes as an example (as have I), and pointed out the similarities to the Xbox360. Microsoft has more than a decade of experience with hardware devices, and has been involved in everything from game consoles to phones, PDAs, automobiles, and more. This may turn out to be a trump card that gives Microsoft an advantage against players like Google and Yahoo."