In my previous post I talked about my impressions of what Window Live is doing and my overall excitement around how MS is evolving the Live platform. That praise aside I do have a couple of critiques/requests.
1. Clarify the role of www.live.com, home.live.com, and your Spaces home page. I haven’t seen meaningful changes to www.live.com in a while and while it has similar functionality to iGoogle it doesn’t have enough to make me switch and frankly my interest in iGoogle and it’s usefulness to me is decreasing as well. I find that between my Live Spaces page and home.live.com I get the information I need. I would like to see home.live.com and the home Live Spaces page integrated together. To me having them separate is silly they have subtle differences I suppose, but not enough to make them two sites (if for example you didn’t have a Live Spaces account, but wanted to use home.live.com you just wouldn’t see the Live Spaces content that someone who had an account does). The content on both sites is sparse enough that integrating them seems to make sense to me. Having www.live.com in addition to them seems silly unless there is some kind of collaboration between the three. Perhaps some gadgets that show the content that normally is displayed on the home.live.com and Live Spaces home pages.
2. GOOGLE READER – I love the RSS integration in Windows Live Mail, IE7, and Vista in general, but web-based aggregation is where it is at. That gives me access to my feed content on my mobile device, any PC I want, etc… This is one area where I feel like Google just continues to stomp MS even though MS has a decent RSS integration story in its client products. Where is the web-based aggregator – Please bring it – add in integration between it and Window Live Mail (the client software) and wham – what you have would pull me away from Google Reader. Of course Google Reader is more than just web-based aggregation. I love the starring and sharing features – the sharing especially with the Link Blog concept (RSS feed of your shared items) that so many use (Scoble notably) is tremendous. Come on MS this is a huge hole in the Live family! If you aren’t anywhere close than buy Bloglines. They are right up there and with some refocusing of their system inside of the Live family (and some simplification and addition of sharing and starring of course) maybe you can get relevant in this space faster!
All in all I love what MS is doing with Live which is a marked change than what I thought and felt 6 months ago that is a tribute to the product teams that continued to churn out lots of new capabilities over the last 6 months. I hope the next 6 are equally exciting!