For disclosure purposes I have had an Office Live Site for going on three years now, this Windows Live Spaces blog for at least two years, and actually worked on a team at Microsoft that developed some features in Office Live, specifically the business contact manager application in Office Live way back in SharePoint 2007 beta 1.
My experience with Office Live has been good-it does what it should and having both a website and ability to provision SharePoints on the internet is incredibly useful. Having the Windows Live Spaces blog has been good too especially with the ability to build your own add-ins and Windows Live Writer makes it easy to post to your blog not to mention posting from email and my phone works too.
Then awhile back Windows Live started offering 10Gb or so on SkyDrive I decided I should track on Windows Live Services-then came Silverlight Streaming Services with 10GB free internet hosting for my videos which really started me thinking that this Windows Live stuff might be for real. Then a little application named Windows Live Writer (using right now for this post) blew me away-posts to virtually every blog platform even SharePoint blogs, add-ins for inserting video, virtual earth maps, and an API to let you build your own.
Then now with the latest WL release they add the ability to update my FaceBook status from Windows Live Messenger, invite people to join my WL network by pulling in my FaceBook and LinkedIn contacts, pull in my Twitter Feeds, Flickr, and actually pull all this together in a somewhat logical UI-although IMO still not as intuitive as FaceBook but in typical Microsoft fashion they pack in a ton of features and don’t tell anyone about them-for the few who take a few minutes to figure things out there is a great reward however. Come on, 25gb of free space for your photos and integrated with SnapFish? and with comments, tagging.
What is going on at Microsoft Windows Live Services anyway? Who are these people and where are they hiding the accountants? Hope this is a sign of things to come.
To find out check out http://www.windowslive.com/Explore