Steven Sinofsky has announced, via the Building Windows 8 blog, that the ‘Windows Live’ branding will be killed off. Officially the term is ‘reimagined’, but essentially the brand is going the products and services are staying. Windows live was first released back in 2005 and over its lifetime included online services like Hotmail, Skydrive.
The Windows Live brand also included the desktop apps under the Windows Live Essentials banner, including Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, Writer, Family Safety and Messenger. Moving forward to the next version of Windows, the Windows Live brand will be dropped and these apps will simply be called Mail, Photos, Movie Maker etc.
When Windows 7 was launched, the separation of these productivity apps into a separate suite of products, was designed to allow outside-OS updates. With greater flexibility, we were meant to see multiple updates per year, but in reality this wasn’t the case. We’re only at Windows Live Wave 4, many years later.
I welcome the simplification for end users, by including these apps in the OS, it means these apps are available on every copy of Windows 8. Although the products from get.live.com were available free, most people had no idea they existed. Currently the Windows 8 Consumer Preview includes ‘App previews’ of Mail, Calendar, Photos and Videos, but these are not 1:1 replacements for the existing apps. Functionality will need to improved dramatically to avoid the need to hit the desktop and use the Windows Live versions.
Widely regarded as one of the best blogging apps, it’ll be interesting to see the Metro version of Windows Live Writer (used to write this post).
For more information check out BuildingWindows8.