Over the coming weeks and months there are going to be some major changes – for the better, thankfully – to Windows Live. Overall the goal is to make it easier to keep up to date with what your family and friends are doing and for them to let you know what they’re doing if they so wish (see below for more details about the new Live People and Live Profile pages).
To start with, there a couple of new ways of describing what programs and services make up Windows Live.
The free Windows Live programs that can be downloaded and installed from windowslive.com are referred to as Windows Live Essentials: Windows Live Messenger, Photo Gallery, Mail, Writer, Move Maker, Family Safety and Toolbar.
The other Windows Live services that we run in our browser are called Windows Live Internet Services and they include Live Hotmail, Live Spaces and the Live Home page (which hasn’t been of that much use until now). However there are new ones such as Live People, Live Profile and Live Photos, and the new Live Home page.
Until now our profile details have been part of Live Spaces and in the new Windows Live we’ll have a separate page. The reason for this major change is that we’ll be able to set permissions from one place for all our Windows Live services. These permissions will range from whom we allow to view our Live Space, who can view our photo albums and details about us in What’s New to who can contact us on Live Messenger. So our Live Profile page will be very important in giving permissions to those in our network of family and friends.
Because the Wave 3 version of Live Messenger has introduced a couple of new features, what we used to call our contact list now becomes our network of family and friends. The reason for this is that all the people in our contact list in Hotmail and those on Live Messenger will be brought together in one list which we can view on our Live People page.
As well, the old Live Messenger groupings of people into groups such as family, coworkers, webDotWizards and so on now become categories. This has come about because the new Live Messenger has a new Group feature enabling us to form permanent special groups of people, such as family, a hobby group, sports team or work colleagues. Having a permanent group enables anyone in the group to instant message other members in the group who will get the IM as soon as they’re logged in. As well the group will have a Live Space web site.
To finish off, there is plenty of fun stuff to look forward to in relations to our photos. Live Photos will be a separate site from our photos on Live Spaces and it will integrate with Live Skydrive to offer 25,000 megabytes of free online storage. There’s a new slide viewer on Live Photos and Live Writer will enable us to create a photo montage in our posts. As well, Live Photo Gallery and Live Movie Maker will allow us to upload photos and videos to third-party sites such as Flickr.
There’s plenty to look forward in the coming weeks as the updates to Windows Live roll out. Keep an eye on webDotWiz Online has a Space for the latest and how to best to get the most from the new Windows Live Services.
Here are some sites to browse for more information about Windows Live:
Posted using the Wave 3 trial version of Windows Live Writer.