Microsoft Corp kicked off what it said was the first in a series of 20 service-based applications under the Live brand with the launch yesterday of Windows Live Messenger, the latest iteration of its public instant messaging service.
The move is a milestone in the company’s ongoing efforts to reinvent itself, which has recently seen it dedicate a large chunk of R&D cash to software as services. The strategic shift was probably best emblemized by Bill Gates’ retirement announcement last week.
We have more than 20 other Windows Live services in various stages of beta testing, Martin Taylor, corporate vice president of Windows Live and MSN, said in a statement.
We regard Windows Live Messenger as one of the most pivotal services within Windows Live, he said. Windows Live Messenger is also integrated with many of the Windows Live services to serve as a convenient entry point into consumers’ online world so they can do even more than IM right from one place.
People will be able to launch into blogging, sharing data, search, watching videos, and a multitude of other services via Messenger, he indicated.
It’s all based on the existing Messenger presence backbone found in previous versions of Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger. Integration with Yahoo’s comparable network will be added in future, under a deal the companies announced last year.