Windows Live Wave 3 Services Launch Begins

Late Tuesday, Microsoft began rolling out the services portion of its Windows Live Wave 3 launch. The company is shipping an unprecedented number of new and improved services that build off the success of Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger and attempt to retain

"Microsoft is helping to simplify the Web, rolling out a new generation of innovative Web services that help consumers stay in touch, share their experiences and keep their lives in sync," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "Now, with the latest generation of Windows Live, there is one place to chat via instant messaging (IM), send and receive e-mail, share photos and files, and keep in touch."

Microsoft had previously shipped a beta version of its Wave 3 version of the Windows Live Essentials application suite, which runs on Windows. And in October, it began testing the Wave 3 version of its Windows Live Hotmail and Calendar services. With Tuesday's release, the services portion of Windows Live Wave 3 is considerably more fleshed out, with the following new and improved services now available publicly:

Windows Live Home. A dramatically improved version of Microsoft's Web portal that aggregates content about yourself and your friends from both Windows Live and third party services.

Windows Live Profile. A new service that lets you configure which information is broadcasted about you to your friends and the public online.

Windows Live Groups. A new service that allows teams, clubs families and other groups to collaborate online.

Windows Live Photos. A new photo storage, management, and sharing services.

Windows Live SkyDrive. An improved version of Microsoft's online storage service that now offers 25 GB of storage.

Windows Live People. A new contacts management service that aggregates your contacts from Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, and other services, including Facebook and LinkedIn.

In addition to these specific services, Microsoft is working with a wide range of third party services to ensure that Windows Live users can access their information from around the Web. These partners include such services as Twitter, WordPress, Flickr, iLike, Yelp, and many others.

This week's release doesn't mark the completion of the Wave 3 products and services. Microsoft plans to ship a near-final release candidate (RC) version of Windows Live Essentials in the coming days and will ship more new and improved services throughout early 2009. As always, stay tuned to the SuperSite for Windows for the latest Windows Live developments.

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