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back to article Microsoft kills Windows Live brand

Microsoft is killing its Windows Live brand ahead of launching Windows 8, citing "customer confusion". In a mercifully short Windows 8 blog Microsoft said it’s ripping the meaningless umbrella from a bunch of online services. Windows Live covers Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger and is the prefix to its Web 2.0 me-too properties …

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Windows 8 will be “clod-powered".

Microsoft will be kicking everyone with their clodhoppers until they buy Windows 8.

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MIc
Trollface

The El Reg crowd

For a group of 1337 haxz0r tech grabbing IT ninjas we sure are adverse to new ideas and changes. Windows XP... pffts

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Windows

I call BS

Time and time again do people speculate over stuff which Microsoft does; one party often makes the story even more horrible than the other and this continues until it eventually finds its way into "mainstream media" which, partly because of all the 'hype', now starts to read "between the lines" whenever MS releases a public statement.

When will the media learn ?

I mean; come one here... Last 'hype' was that MS was allegedly killing off .NET with the release of Windows 8 because they were said to fully bet on HTML5 and Javascript. Metro would mean the end of .NET as we knew it.

Well, we all know how that turned out do we? I have the Windows Phone SDK right here; I can develop Metro applications using VB or C# (all within the .NET framework) and it utilizes Silverlight (another development which was said to go) or XNA. Windows 8? VS2011 is said to support HTML5, Javascript, C++, C# and VB. So much for the "end of .NET".

This is no different IMO. Just like it would be suicide for MS to kill .NET it would be the exact same deal when it comes to Windows Live.

I have a Live ID which I can use to authenticate with a zillion MS services. From Hotmail to Skydrive right to TechNet and the Office blogs. Or what to think of my Windows Phone? Outlook utilizes Windows Live (Hotmail) to sync its data with my phone. My Windows Phone fully utilizes Windows Live to gain access to storage such as SkyDrive or the online services such as my agenda and contacts (Hotmail). Its an essential part of the whole experience.

In one story we read how 'desperate' Microsoft is to uphold its MS Phone market; Ballmer is rumored to meet up with LG to "discuss their stance on the Windows Phone" (its a rumor but everyone believes it so it seems).

Yet on other other hand we're also perfectly willing to believe that they're going to kill a service which is a fundamental part of said Windows Phone environment ?

Make up your mind already... Better yet: do more research and don't read between the lines.

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Facepalm

Isn't the problem their endless confusion over who their customer really is?

The problem is that Microsoft have failed to identify who their customers truly are. Is it the cool kids with their smartphones, busy tweeting their masturbatory self-aggrandisements? Is it the Reg reader, who needs to install 300 copies of Windows by Thursday but who would much rather be trading witty banter with Verity Stob? Is it the great unwashed masses stuck in their cubes churning out emails and powerpoint decks?

What we've seen in the last few releases is the infantilization of their product set. I crank out hundreds of emails and documents a week at work and I don't give a stuff about Windows Live .NET MSN Zune Picture Player or whatever it's called this week. I want something that is fast, stable and professional looking.

I respectfully suggest that the Microsoft team do the following.

1. Give up trying to chase the cool kids. You can't do it, and it demeans you. Get over it.

2. Forget about branding the add on products as any other than "Microsoft". Not "Windows Live", "MSN", "Windows SkyDrive" or whatever. You are playing on a field where the Windows name confers no advantage and your apps must compete with everyone else. It should just be Microsoft SkyDrive. Microsoft Instant Messenger. And so on.

3. For the love of god, produce some themes and customization bundles that mean something more than fluffy clouds on my desktop. When I'm at work, I want to be in power user mode: all the fluffy sh** turned off and everything sacrificed to speed, stability and efficiency. When I'm at home, I don;t mind a little fluff. Go ahead and show me your metro doodah.

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Re: Isn't the problem their endless confusion over who their customer really is?

Spot on & very aptly put, Im completely fed up with all their cruddy shite.

Regrettably, the chance of being hired by Microsoft to practise what you preach is of course less than zero!

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Windows

Cloudy with a chance of showers

Perhaps the new service will be called l-i-veCloud, without any emphasis on the 'i' of course.

It does seem fitting. Apple had to re-imagine mobile me too, so this is par for the course for microSoft.

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straight talking - why I come back to the reg

"It’s classic Microsoft, fretting over how something is perceived internally and externally, rather than simply delivering something that works or is wanted."

thanks.

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Facepalm

Hit the fan

the shit will....

When the fact that "bing" is utterly idiotic, and the laughing stock of the Internet reaches upper managment at Microsoft in another couple of years :-)

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Stop

Re: Hit the fan

Thanks for speaking for the entire Internet. Without your comment, the Internet would have nobody to tell Microsoft what every single last user in the entire world thinks. Lucky you were here to go around and ask them all!

All those web search tables showing Bing at approx. 20% of global searches are just done for fun because it's such a laughing stock, aren't they? And nobody at all will buy Windows 8 so they might as well not bother!

And Gavin Clarke always knows better than multi-billion dollar companies which is why he's, er... a journalistic nobody? Wait, that can't be right.....

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Linux

Windows Not Live this and that

Thank Christ I dont have to put up with all this bollocks.

Release the penguins...

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Never used any of it, so it doesn't even matter.

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Oh dear

methinks it's Microsoft who's having the identity crisis, with the mass rebranding & all. Some of their products are rather nice, others not so much. I happened to think that the whole "Live" brand was a bad idea from the get-go. I liked OE over the live mail fat client, because it was straight forward AND there was limited third party support, in the form of reg hacks and various quasi-plugins. Live mail looks like they ripped the user interface out of Microsoft Works (which is a big fat lie, unto itself) and merged it with a lite version of outlook.

Thanks, but no thanks Steve & co. I'll stay with my xp/win 7 box & office 2003.

Oh, and the new version of office... Whomever was the person who said "This is a great idea" should be fired.

As another learned individual stated, some of us don't want glitz and shiney bells & whistles, some of us just one something that works, that's intuitive and helps us be more productive.

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Anonymous Coward

Ah well farewell....

I could never figure out if it was pronounced Windows Live or if it was Windows Live...

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Re: Ah well farewell....

"I could never figure out if it was pronounced Windows Live or if it was Windows Live"

The second.

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Actually guys..... Microsoft has been making LOTS of great decisions of late. They are doing a pretty good job of executing moving forward from the abyss of the prior decade. Don't be surprised to see them wildly successfull in the coming years. They've done it before and have the resources and talent to do it again. What's still amazing is that they could so totally miss for the better part of a decade. Don't bet on that happening again.

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WTF?

At least..........

..........They don't call it PEACHES or some other fruit.

Microsoft always were a bit inconsistent with names:

For example, Windows

3.1

3.11 - Major functionality upgrade (networking)

95

98 MAJOR bug-fix for Windows 95

ME (isn't that a disease?) MAJOR disaster

NT 4 (First decent Beta for NT. I left out previous versions of NT 'coz they were really only prototypes)

2000 (NT 5.0) First GOOD release of NT

XP (NT 5.1) Lots of improvements

Vista (NT 6.0) TOTAL F***ING DISASTER

7 (NT 6.1) MAJOR, MAJOR bug-fix for Vista

8 (NT 6.2) Significant upgrade to support ARM/mobile devices

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least..........

Windows 8

you should replace the words "Significant upgrade" to "Total Disaster" mark my words its going to be another ME/Vista

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Re: At least..........

>95

>

>98 MAJOR bug-fix for Windows 95

I'd have said 95b was the major bug-fix version, but it was also all those things MS said 95 was going to be but wasn't (actually an operating system rather than a DOS device driver, for example; 32-bit file system, that sort of thing). I don't know how many thousand users I had running completely stable for over a decade on 95b PCs - I don't know because they never called for support.

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Thumb Up

Re: At least..........

7 (NT 6.1) MAJOR, MAJOR bug-fix for Vista

Windows 7 was a total kernal rewrite.

Microsoft bought Sysinternals and the sysinternal team tossed out the crap and kept only the good stuff.

Thats why Windows 7 is so good!

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Pint

Re: At least..........

I owned most all the windows 95 versions.

A,B,GOLD,J

Of course B was my favorite.

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Re: At least..........

Thank goodness.

I thought your comment was going to be another:

"Why is it Windows 8 when it is the xth version since Windows 3.1?"

Personally I found Win95 ran better than 98, kernel32.dll on 98 was the most unreliable kernel I've ever had the misfortune to use. I was glad to see Win2000.

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Coat

Great way to kill a product

msn msgr 4.8 was prob about the best, it was simple, unbloated, and did precisely what was needed of it.

The problem is that so many companies get greedy, add bloatware, add pointless features, and don't listen to users, and in fact are often uncontactable. This does nothing to install customer/brand loyalty and everything to garuntee customers will start looking for an alternative that is unbloated and simply works.

'Live' is a classic example of a company so out of touch with it's market. While years ago msn-msgr was the main way i kept in touch with my online friends no-one uses it anymore. It's got worse over time and now it's pretty much pointless (though i concede that some folk may still find it useful - but i bet it's market has shrunk by 50% in the past 5 years) .. and has anyone ever clicked on one of those banner adds? can you remember a single banner advert? - lol

if your a company that is oriented by greed then you're doing it wrong !

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Stop

Re: Great way to kill a product

Boys and Girls of Mozilla Firefox, are you listening to this? You jolly well ought to be.

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FAIL

Bill Hicks had it right

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo

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Just drop Windows.

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Demonstrates what I've been saying for years.

Microsoft hasn't been a software company for a long time.

They are now, mostly a marketing company... that happens to sell software.

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Flame

'There’s plenty o' talk about how Windows 8 will be “cloud-powered".'

Give me strength! I never thought I could detest the moniker "Cloud", that every marketing droid who pretends to know about IT drips on about, more than I already do.

They might as well call it powered by fairy dust.

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Facepalm

Why didnt they just call it windows messenger, windows mail, windows 'whatever' from the start?!?

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I remember Windows for Workgroups 3.11 had all the OS applications you needed built in.

Email, Scheduler+, Write, Paint, Sound Recorder, Macro Recorder etc. etc.

Office 4.3 had spreadsheets and word processing without ribbons all under 16mb of RAM (or less!)

It had a TCP/IP stack, a web browser was available from our friends at Netscape (and later IE up to IE5)

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The only people who I knew on MSN were on IRC.

So that was reason enough for me to stop using it.

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Devil

lol!

IRC was rockin back then! ahhh the fun times on IRC

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App(lication)s

Just give me a damn OS with a light footprint and security holes filled in MS. I don't give a crap what apps come bundled with it, there should be none.

Clean it up, and you'll get respect and recognition. Stick to this Metro crap, and putting more effort into your media player/email client/instant messanger than the OS and we will switch off.

Yours,

Phil Urt Askbar

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