The Windows Live brand has been around since 2005 and has been Microsoft’s brand for various internet connected apps and services but today Microsoft have announced plans to ditch the Windows Live brand. Most of the apps will be renamed and be part of Windows 8, for example Windows Live Photo gallery is going to be the metro style app photo gallery app in the Windows 8, Windows Live Mail will be the mail app in Windows Phone and Windows 8 and online services like SkyDrive has already dropped the live tag.
Microsoft provide a table showing the transition to the new apps but one noticeable absence on the list is Windows Live Writer which is my favourite blogging tool and I suspect it maybe history now. You can read the full explanation on the Building Windows Blog. I guess it makes sense to simplify the branding but I hope it doesn’t mean the end of Live Writer.
Windows 8 provides us with an opportunity to reimagine our approach to services and software and to design them to be a seamless part of the Windows experience, accessible in Windows desktop apps, Windows Metro style apps, standard web browsers, and on mobile devices. Today the expectation is that a modern device comes with services as well as apps for communication and sharing. There is no “separate brand” to think about or a separate service to install – it is all included when you turn on your PC for the first time.
We also believe that you should have a choice and control over what services you use, what information you share (with others and Microsoft), and how you access your services. That’s why using any of these services is optional, and you’re welcome to mix and match them with the software and services you choose.
The chart below breaks down our software and services in the new world of Windows 8:
Windows Live ID, Passport
SkyDrive app, SkyDrive Desktop
SkyDrive app, Office app
FolderShare, Live Mesh, Windows Live Mesh
Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express
Windows Live Mail, Windows Calendar
Integrated in Hotmail and SkyDrive
Photos app, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker
Photos app, Camera Roll
REST, JSON (via SkyDrive)
Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker