What Does Microsoft Live Mean?

by Preston Gralla

Microsoft seems slap the word "Live" on every one of its products these days. But what in the world does the term mean? Not even Microsoft seems to know.

Mary Jo Foley, in her Microsoft Watch newsletter, notices a similarity to when Microsoft applied .NET to every service and product under the sun until the term lost all meaning. Ultimately, Microsoft pulled back, and uses .NET to refer to a specific technology.

So now we have "Live," which is applied to services and products as diverse as Microsoft's upcoming security subscription service (Microsoft OneCar Live), service adds-ons to Microsoft Office (Office Live), and even, Foley notes, Visual Studio Live and CRM Live.

Foley did some digging, and found someone brave enough to try and explain what "Live" means.

Blake Irving, corporate vice president of MSN Communications Services and Membership Platforms Group gave her this incoherent explanation: "When I explain Windows Live, I describe a service that seamlessly brings Web experiences together with Windows software and provides greater relevance in people's lives. Saying that Windows Live is simply extensions to Windows is too Windows-centric, and saying that it is MSN services rebranded also sells Windows Live short...This isn't about rebranding MSN, it is about building holistic and unified experiences."

Run that by me again, Blake. "Building holistic and unified experiences." Call in the word police!

What do you think "Live" means?


2006-02-14 00:45:19
Windows is not dead!
i.e. "Windows Live" :-)
2006-02-14 08:40:55
circular argument
Live <-> Web 2.0 -- figure out one, you'll have the other.