Windows Live to Share Site with Office Live

Monday Jan 26th 2009 by Stuart J. Johnston
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In a move meant to get more people using its 'Live' services, Microsoft says it will merge Windows Live and Office Live.

Microsoft confirmed Friday it is going to provide a common location for users to connect with Office Live services and Windows Live.

Microsoft has, until now, focused on providing Office Live services – principally Office Live Small Business and Office Live Workspace – that target small business users. Those services are currently in beta test.

Meanwhile, Windows Live services have had more of a consumer focus with tools such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, SkyDrive, and Live Spaces.

The move is meant to encourage users to take advantage of a broader range of various Microsoft Live services as well as emphasize that the two sets of services are complimentary.

"To simplify and improve the customer experience around Microsoft Live services, the company has made the decision to converge Windows Live and Office Live into an integrated set of services delivered through one single destination," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail.

"Today, more nearly 4 million people are using the Office Live beta and more than 460 million people subscribe to Windows Live services," according to the e-mail.

Of course, the majority of the 460 million "Windows Live subscribers" are primarily just users who have a Windows Live ID, which is required for free e-mail services including Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Hotmail.

"By bringing these services together, customers will be able to experience Office productivity and collaboration services with one of the most popular e-mail, IM and storage services in a single, integrated experience," the e-mail said.

Microsoft officials did not clarify whether the move is related to the layoffs announced by the company on Thursday.

The Microsoft spokesperson was not able to provide a timeline for the merger of the two sets of services, or the ultimate name of the site, at press time.

Adapted from Internetnews.com.

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