webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

Monthly Archives: January 2006

Talking about Labs

When Ray Ozzie, Chief Technical Officer of Microsoft, posts on his blog, it’s time to sit up and take notice ( he gets Attention, as they say these days).



I thought I’d take a moment to express my excitement about the kickoff of Live Labs, a new effort under the leadership of Gary Flake – a tremendously talented individual with many, many fascinating ideas about where the internet is headed.  As described in Gary’s manifesto, Live Labs is structured for agility, and for turning ideas quickly into reality.  It’s a rapid experimentation, incubation and advanced development group with a very direct connection into the product organizations. 


I’d also like to welcome another person of great talent – Ashok Chandra – to Microsoft.  Ashok’s kicking off a new Search Labs group focusing on taking search to the next level.  Between these two efforts, I expect many cool projects to emerge in the realm of software and services.  They’re going to be great places to work – whether in Mountain View or Redmond.


Finally, a quick update on the RSS Simple Sharing Extensions.  The spec has been making good progress, and there has been an update to the draft spec introduced last fall.  There’s also now some sample code available.  Check out the tutorial, and join the conversation.


Talking about inline images on Live.com page

You would have already seen this if using Live.com (and you should be) but there are a couple of tips below. 


inline images

we’ve been listening to your feedback and one of the main things you’ve been asking for has been more pizzazz on the page. we just shipped something that hopefully adds a little bit of that 🙂
now you can view embedded images in rss feeds inline on your live.com page:
– if you have 5+ headlines you get a smaller image that rotates every 20 seconds
– if you have 1 headline you get a larger image
we’ll let a picture do the rest of the talking 🙂

Talking about What do blogging, money, themes and Xbox have in common?

webDotWiz has already pointed you to a couple of Karen Luk’s posts but the first on the list below was missed. Mike Torres is an XBox gamer so visit his space to see how the XBox Live module works (it’s a new module you can add to your Space when you Customize). Mike was also impressed with this XBox space


What do blogging, money, themes and Xbox have in common?

Thanks to everyone for your feedback!  Trust me we read it all.  Karen, one of our superwomen PM’s has written some blogs on some of her features.  Ck them out and let her know what you think!
Oh and of course there is also news from Xbox land! 

Xbox.com talks about some of the Xbox Live integration with MSN Spaces!


New MSN Spaces themes and making money

Karen Luk has posted more about the thinking behind the new themes and how you’ll be able to add advertising to your site by using sponsored links if you want to make some money from your Space (not yet available for Australia).

Talking about a couple of tips (photos, comments)

Here are a couple of tips about using new features with your photo albums on your MSN Space from Mike Torres. 


Couple tips (photos, comments)

Lots of people here are asking how to set the default photo album shown in the Photos module on your space.
The last album you selected in Edit Mode becomes the default album. 
I totally agree with those of you saying this isn’t intuitive.  We’ll work to make this clear.
Also: people are wondering how to get to the next page of comments (if a post has a lot of comments).  There’s a Next link at the top of the comments pane which will take you to the next page.  Ditto my sentence above about this not being intuitive and about us working to fix this.
Thanks for all the feedback – both here, via email, and on The Space Craft.  We monitor it constantly.

MSN Spaces updates summary

Bink has a summary in point form of all the latest updates made to MSN Spaces. Here are a few that webDotWiz will be trying out:
  • New contact search
  • Photo Comments
  • Option to allow comments on Blogs and Photos
  • Learn panel
  • Communication preferences so you can control who can send you invitations and requests for access to your space and your profile
  • Categorized themes
  • New Xbox Live GameCard and Recent Games modules
  • Revamped profile with Live Contacts
  • Advertising option
  • Book list with Amazon.com
  • Better URLS… add /blog or /photos to the address to get to that part of their space
  • Bird’s eye tourist site

    There’s now the Bird’s Eye Tourist site where people are submitting permalinks to various sights they’ve found while browsing Windows Live Local. One of the Rushworth Community House’s webDotWizards has been through some of them and he’s got ten of his favourites listed on his space. By the way, this was easy for Bill to do: as he visited various locations from Bird’s Eye View, they went onto his Windows Live Local scratchpad and he used the Blog it link to send to the list to his own Space. We’ll get Bill to find more of his favourites and let you know when he’s posted them to his space.

    Big update to MSN Spaces

    While the webDotWizards were at work this morning at Rushworth Community House, things were happening with MSN Spaces – big things in fact. To read all the detail of the new features, see The Space Craft (the MSN Spaces team’s space), Torres Talking (software designer of MSN Spaces) and Carnage4Life (Program Manager who worked on some of the new features). Here’s a summary of items that hit webDotWiz between the eyes:
    • The web address of Spaces doesn’t need the /members/ bit any more. So the address to the webDotWiz Space is now http://spaces.msn.com/webdotwiz/ (when you hover the mouse over the links above you’ll see it’s been used). Of course, the old links will still work.
    • Instead of a limit of 30Mb for photos, we can now load as many as 500 photos per month and not worry about size limitations.
    • Up the top of the page, near the Sign In/Out button, there’s Search spaces to not only search for topics in other peoples’ spaces but also to search for people of similar interests, and so on – more details are at The Space Craft of what’s coming.
    • The Profile section is now part of MSN Spaces – fill in as much or little info as you want so it’s available for searching.
    • Live Contacts means you can share your contact details (as little or as much information as you want to) with others and, more importantly, when you update your details (e.g., phone number, address, etc.), others whom you’ve allowed will see the new information. More details of how Live Contacts works is here.
    • XBox gamers are also taken care of.

    So put some information into your profile, keep adding entries and add some more photos (another nifty little feature is you can add comments to your photos).

    USS Intrepid and a hidden Virtual Earth feature

    Here’s the permalink for you to see aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid, in bird’s eye view.
    And the Virtual Earth team have passed on a "hidden" feature when using What for searching:
    The ability to use * in the What text box to search for all businesses & catagories.
    In computer jargon this sort of thing is called a wildcard search. And
    Why? sometimes you don’t know the name of a business you are looking for and it’s category might be ambiguous (is that weird place on the corner a hardware store or a news stand?) In Windows Live Local there is currently a back door way to accomplish this search. just enter pinpoint_highres in the ‘WHAT’ search field and you’re in business.  It will work like a wildcard and display all businesses that have an algorithmic geocode presision to street address level.
    Follow the rest of the story on the Virtual Earth space where there’s a practical example.

    Talking about Who Ya Gonna Call? Anyone in the World!

    Inside Windows Live Messenger has more info about the phone that will be specifically available for phone calls in the new Messenger when the final release is available.

    So what is it?

     It’s a two-line phone. The first line plugs into a wall jack just like every other home phone you have.  The second line is a USB connection to your computer.  The base/charger stays near your PC but the handset is wireless, allowing you to take it all over your house.  The WLM Phone will work right out of the box, no installation of drivers or control software. All you need is the latest version of Windows Live Messenger.


    This phone is a one-stop shop for all your calling services. If you just pick up and dial like normal:

    1.  You can make a call using your local phone service.


    2. You can also choose to open the Messenger interface.