Windows 8 precipitates a revamp for Windows Live

The news that Microsoft is revamping it’s Windows Live range of software came as a bit of a surprise to me. Although, with the emphasis in Windows 8 redirected toward Metro and mobile apps, in retrospect it should have been expected.

I am really dirty about this move by Microsoft, I utilize many programs from the free ‘Live’ range; Mail, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery and Live Writer. Not sure exactly what changes are in store, one can only assume that these once worthwhile products will be cut down to better suit the mobile app infrastructure – which, of course, makes for less powerful software to suit the limited CPU/memory resources of the mobile devices they are designed to run on.

Chris Jones has published a rather longish article on the MSDN blog HERE which, I guess, is supposed to explain the changes and what we can expect. However, it doesn’t really offer much in the way of clarification or definitive assertions. I often wonder if one of the main criteria for Microsoft reps is the ability to convey as little information as possible in as many words as possible – most would fit quite comfortably into the political arena.

I really like one of the ‘comments’ submitted in response to Chris’s article:

Is this meant to tell us that certain applications from the Live Essentials package will not be developed further? If so, can’t you just write a straight English sentence saying so?

He/she definitely gets my vote. 🙂

One thing the article does make clear is that the ‘Live’ range of software will undergo a name change, from ‘Windows Live’ to ‘Windows Account’. Which brings it pretty much in line with competitors and provides another clue as to the ultimate goal – mobility and cloud access.

I guess this can be conceived as more good news for mobile device users but I see it as yet another potential stab in the back for Microsoft’s millions of desktop consumers – like me! The article does not outline exactly what fate lies ahead for ‘Live’ desktop apps but if you read between the lines it is not looking good. It appears Windows Live Writer is scheduled to be dropped altogether – which will pee me off no end as I use this software regularly and often – and I fear Microsoft’s current predilection for Metro apps may see other Live offerings go the same route or, at least, be so reduced in functionality as to become almost unrecognizable.

Have a read through Chris’s article, let us know your interpretation… what do you think?

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