Will Live Kill?
It’s taken me a day and a half to digest Windows Live and Office Live.
The most interesting comment that I came across in my journey through the Windows Live service and the blogging related to both services was from TechCrunch. Michael wrote:
After what I saw today, I despair for many a silicon valley startup.
First, I am not sure why the despair Michael saw was limited to Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is not the home of all things interesting in the technology world and I always cringe when I read words like that.
But on to Windows Live and Office Live. I don’t see despair. I see opportunity.
Because Windows Live is lame. I honestly could not find a single thing I’d use it for. Of course, that doesn’t mean that others won’t find it useful. But I already have a feed reader (actually a bunch of them). I already have a VOIP client and an integrated IM client. I already have several email apps. I already have a damn good social bookmarks manager.
This is not going to be a repeat of the late 80s and early 90s when Microsoft slowly and surely put all the desktop software companies out of business. The web is not a platform that Microsoft controls. We the people control it.
I expect Live services to be extremely targeted, Office for small
businesses and Windows for active online consumers. As such, Live
services won’t be for everyone. If, say, you’re a consumer that
actively blogs, incessantly IMs throughout the day and streams or
downloads music, Windows Live could be a good fit.
I am the user that Joe thinks will like Windows Live and it ain’t for me.
So back to my question, will live kill? I doubt it. It’s another example of point solutions vs. end to end solutions. Windows Live is Microsoft’s stitching together of a bunch of mostly lame point solutions and rebranding them as a "platform". It doesn’t work for me and I doubt it will work for most users nearly as well as the point solutions that have been in the market for several years, are battle tested, are used passionately, and are delivering a lot more value.