The collision course of two online empires gained momentum today with the launch of the new Windows Live service from Microsoft that puts a range of communications tools in the hands of internet users that will compete meaningfully against Google and the various Web 2.0 players on the web.
The new Windows Live service has been described as a set of services that are fully controlled by the user online and allow users to make detailed searches, develop personalised home pages with customised content and fundamentally communicate and share with other web users.
It encapsulates instant messaging, video and photo sharing, blogging and RSS (really simple syndication).
As well as tackling Google on the search front, it battles against YouTube.com on the file sharing front, Flickr.com on the photo sharing front and MySpace.com on the personalised home page front.
Windows Live has also been launched with an enhanced safety centre complete with a free-to-use virus checker so that users can stay informed and connected, whilst being online protected.
The service also incorporates Windows Live Messenger, which enables people to connect and chat with one another and other internet users, in real time. The Messenger service is already being used by 255 million people worldwide.
The Live Messenger enhanced service allows people to instant message as well as communicate via audio and video conversations. Users can also make PC-to-PC phone calls using headsets and can exchange pictures and other personal files with easily.
The service also includes Windows Live search which, with the aid of a new design, allows the individual to create their own personal searches that best match their own criteria and can then be saved and shared.
The Live search toolbar allows for quick and easy searching as well as tracking news, RSS feeds or blogs.
Brian Kealy, Windows Live regional marketing manager, contends that Ireland is leading many of its international counterparts in terms of next-generation online services.
He said he is confident that Ireland is ready for this new range of integrated services that will change the way we communicate and find information online.
“Windows Live offers a specific set of consolidated services, all of which are fully controlled by the user,” Kealy continued. “It enables the internet user to make customised and detailed searches and create and develop an internet desktop or home page that is personal to them alone.
“In addition, we have incorporated software that allows the user to keep up to date with current affairs and their personal interests.
“It essentially organises your internet life all on one page, making it particularly user-friendly,” Kealy said.
By John Kennedy