Windows Live is making new social features available to all customers, including an updated profile, a “what’s new” feed of activities across the network and Web, photo sharing, and on-the-go access from virtually any device with Windows Live SkyDrive. Online storage is increasing from 5 GB to 25 GB.
Windows Live Messenger, the No. 1 instant messaging service worldwide with more than 330 million active customers, now includes more personalization, a “what’s new” feed with updates from contacts across the Web, drag-and-drop photo sharing in the conversation window, a favorites list to designate the most important contacts, and group IM to chat simultaneously with up to 20 people at the same time.
Windows Live Hotmail, one of the largest e-mail services worldwide with more than 375 million active customers, is getting a significant upgrade. It is now much faster and has 80 percent more effective spam filtering compared with previous versions of Hotmail. Upcoming changes include the ability to bring multiple e-mail accounts together, the ability to put multiple e-mail addresses onto almost any device, increased storage, and a revamped calendar that makes it easier to share calendars with others, subscribe to multiple calendars and use your calendar with Microsoft Outlook.
Windows Live Groups, a place for groups to collaborate online, includes a shared calendar, shared storage, a shared e-mail address, and shared instant messaging.
These updates are only part of the story. Microsoft has also aligned itself with HP and China Telecom to provide integration for both media and mobile devices. They hope to extend their services to more people globally. The plan is to roll out the Windows Live services in 54 countries by early next year.
Part of Microsoft's designs revolve around their goal of taking some of Google's share of online advertising revenue, who so far has continued to expand directly into Microsoft's territory with e-mail, online word processing, photo organization, chat, and other services provided by Microsoft.