"Windows Live" has always felt tacked on, and Microsoft is fixing that with the release of Windows 8.
In a long blog written by Windows Live group VP Chris Jones on Wednesday, the company's plans for the "Live" label are quite clear: it will be officially killed off once Windows 8 hits retail shelves (save for Xbox LIVE, of course) this fall. Windows Live Mail will simply be "Mail," Windows Live Messenger will be reduced to "Messaging," and so on. We actually already knew this was coming thanks to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, but now we officially know why Microsoft is moving away from the weird "Live" labeling.
"Windows Live was first announced on November 1st, 2005, and in our press release we described it as 'a set of personal Internet services and software designed to bring together in one place all of the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with more safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web,'" Jones writes. "Since that time, we’ve been hard at work building software and services that deliver that promise, a foundation that we could rely on as we designed new versions of Windows as well as other Microsoft products."
Jones states that the Windows Live services and apps have always felt "bolted on" because they were built on versions of Windows that were not designed to be connected to a cloud service for anything other than updates. Feedback has even indicated that this "add-on" impression created customer confusion that was fueled even more by the awkward "Windows Live" title -- nomenclature that has been used across both locally-installed and web-based tools. But with the release of Windows 8, Microsoft plans to eliminate the confusion, offering embedded apps and services without the "separate brand" titles.
"Windows 8 provides us with an opportunity to re-imagine 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," he writes. "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."
"Microsoft account" will be the identity service for individuals who use Microsoft products and services. This will be used to access Windows 8, sign onto Xbox LIVE, browse the Windows 8 app store and more. The company will roll out the change in nomenclature from Windows Live ID to Microsoft account over the next several months across the entire product line. There are still some areas we continue to work on such as migrating your account (credit cards and purchase history) from one market (currency) to another if you’ve connected your account to services such as Xbox LIVE," Jones adds.
In the blog he goes on to state that Windows 8 uses cloud services to roam settings across the user's PCs so they can log in to a new PC and pick up right where they left off. Everyone also gets a SkyDrive account automatically for storing photos, documents, videos and more -- this is where the PC settings will be kept. He also added that the account can be linked with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, enabling those contacts to be added to the user's Windows 8 contact list.
For the full scoop, read the full blog here.