Microsoft rolls out Windows Live Services

Microsoft on Thursday announced plans to
roll out updates to its Windows Live services and Windows Live
Essentials offerings, which are aimed at consumer users. On the
developer side, Microsoft exec Satya Nadella told PubCon attendees
in Las Vegas today about the latest in Live Search developer tools
for Web site search optimization.


Microsoft Live Services are the online solutions part of the
company's overall "software plus services" strategy. Under this
strategy, Microsoft plans to offer both installed solutions and
hosted services, and sync the data between both.


Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, painted a picture for this
software plus services vision at the User Conference for Microsoft
Services in Tokyo, Japan last week. He suggested that Web 2.0-type
collaboration technologies would eventually find a role in
Microsoft's enterprise applications.


"Live services, as I said, is sort of the new element, the
element that brings in Web 2.0 capabilities', Ballmer said,
according to a transcript. "These are concepts
that in the corporate environment we will add back into Active
Directory and other technologies so that you have the potential to
also bring new Web 2.0 capabilities to applications that run inside
your own corporate environment. So Live Services will pioneer in
Windows Azure, in the cloud, but will also bring back to Windows
Server over time through Active Directory and SharePoint and the
like."


Windows Azure is Microsoft's "operating system in the cloud"
that was unveiled late last month at Microsoft's Professional
Developers Conference in Los Angeles. Windows Azure supports Live
Services plus a few more, such as .NET Services, SQL Services,
SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services.


Consumer users will see an updated Windows Live "over the coming
weeks" in the U.S. market, according to Microsoft's announcement
today. The updated Windows Live services suite also will be
available in 54 countries by early 2009.


Microsoft has partnered with more than 50 Web companies for the
Windows Live launch. It has integrated Windows Live services with
those from Flickr, LinkedIn, Pandora and others. It also teamed
with HP to integrate Windows Live Photo Gallery with HP printers.
China Telecom will cobrand Windows Live Messenger as part of its
Internet service.


Nadella, Microsoft's senior vice president of the Search, Portal
and Advertising Platform Group, announced the latest release of the
Live Search APIs for developers. The APIs, at beta version 2.0, are
part of Microsoft's code-named "Silk Road" project, which is
designed to help Web publishers build traffic on their sites.


Developers, using Silk Road, can select content to enhance the
user's search experience on the publisher's Web site. Search
results can be delivered using JSON, RSS, SOAP or XML Web service
protocols.


Developers need to use application ID (AppID) to enable Silk Road
customization. For Web sites not affiliated with Microsoft,
developers can create Windows Live ID authentication using a
software development kit. The kit, called Windows Live ID Web Authentication SDK 1.2,
contains sample applications using "ASP.NET (C# and VB), Java,
Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby" programming languages, according to a
Microsoft blog.


Project Silk Road is "in broad beta now," according to
Microsoft's Live Search blog, and the company is looking
for Web publishers that meet Microsoft's criteria for
participation. Web publishers can apply to participate in the Silk
Road beta here.


Not to be outdone, Google, a competitor to Microsoft in search
advertising, today announced a new search optimization application
for Web sites called "On-Demand Indexing for Google Site Search."
This new application provides a way to quickly index and customize
a Web site's search indices.


About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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