Dec 19, 2005

Windows live ideas - Live, liive, liiiive

"The Live era is just starting. It's a new way to look at software and a better way to create opportunities." said Gates in a San Francisco conference. I keep associating this with a line in a famous movie, where someone was screaming "Live, Liive, Liiiiive" and tons of electricity helped him achieve his goal...wonder what was the name of the movie ?!

Anyway, Microsoft is starting to create online services of its famous products - MSN messenger, Office - and also adding new online services, like online bookmarking, live safety center, onecare, mail. Microsoft is obviously feeling attacked, because while getting software to install on your PC to do all this stuff costs money, the online alternatives are free and more and more popular. I'm talking about the online bookmarking services offered by famous del.icio.us or furl, photo sharing offered by flickr, CRM solutions by Salesforce, online writing documents by Writely, spreadsheets sharing by Numsum and so many others.

So, Mr. Gates, the Live era started a while ago. You just want a piece of this pie too. That's why ideas.live.com was started in November and offers some live services (some still in beta) like:


  • Windows Live Safety Center (beta). I must admit that this is one service that I like. It gives you the option to scan your PC online for viruses (you have to install a small program though), to scan your hard-drive to see if a defragmentation is needed and to scan for temporary files. This will be a free service but will promote their monthly paid service called OneCare (now in beta).

    Safety center live


  • Windows One Care Live (beta for U.S. only). This provides a two-way firewall, virus protection, backup service and monthly tune-ups for routine maintenance and optimal PC performance. When the final release will be out, it will be delivered for a monthly fee.

    One Care live


  • Windows Live Messenger (beta). Windows Live Messenger will be the next-generation MSN Messenger. It will have: contact lists, emoticons, instant chat, voice chat, video chat and new ways to connect and share documents (this I think will be done via FolderShare, a product Microsoft purchased). This will be free, but I think they'll charge for some bandwidth on the video or voice chat.

    Messenger live


  • Windows Live Local (beta). The bird's eye feature really impressed me. For some major US cities you can zoom up to 25 yards!!! Of course, the main utility of this service is to provide maps, directions, and satellite photos. This is a screenshot of the Statue of Liberty from the Local.Live

    Local Live


  • Windows Live Favorites (beta). A service that lets you get to your Internet Explorer and MSN Explorer Favorites from anywhere you’re online. Other features include: import your current Favorites and add new sites with one click.

    Favorites live


  • Live.com (beta). Hmm, I think I've seen something similar at Google's. You sign in and customize what content you want: news, sports, search results, etc. You can also add columns, and move stuff around. It’s some sort of portal.

    Live.com


  • Xbox Live. One of the others live products. It's an online games portal for XBOX users. I'm not an XBOX user but they have some nice game previews in there.

    Xbox live


  • Office live. One of the last services, but not the least. It's not even in beta yet, but looks promising. Imagine creating any Office document and sharing it with other users. Maybe the Groove technology will be used in here, or that FolderShare's, but this sounds very interesting. "Microsoft Office Live will provide your company with its own domain name, Web site, and e-mail accounts for free. Additionally, Microsoft Office Live will offer you and your employees expert business management applications, such as customer, project, and document management tools, and a security-enhanced private Web site—affordably managed and maintained by Microsoft—where you can work together and share information with your employees, customers, suppliers, and contractors." Of course when the beta will be released in early 2006, will be available for US residents only. I think that those "additional" features will cost money.

    Office live




That's about it for now, I'm sure these products will have an impact once they'll be stable. And we're waiting for more competition, hey Google when's that online operating system coming?
Other links:
Well, you choose: windows live on Google

Dec 6, 2005

Google Microsoft search

Google Microsoft Search is one of the topic specific searches that Google offers. I'm not sure when Google added these topic specific searches because I just discovered them (yes there are more) when using the Advanced Preferences from Google.

The first of them is Google Microsoft Search.

Google Microsoft Search

As the name suggests, what it allows you to do is to search Microsoft-related sites using Google. I think it is a normal google search but with some filters added (like +microsoft -linux -apple), given the fact that if you do a search using it for -microsoft you get 0 results, while a similar search on Google returns about 9 billion results.

If you're asking why does Google do that, well here there is place for interpretation. Of course that this helps you find results only in websites that are related to Microsoft and its product/services. But there is also the optimization issue, search for Microsoft on Google and see who's on the second page (and going up). Of course this is a supposition ;).

Another topic related search is the Google Apple Macintosh search. Using this you can easily search for Apple/Macintosh-related sites using Google.

Google Apple Macintosh

Search web pages about the BSD operating system using the Google BSD Unix search:

Google BSD Unix search

Since we're at this chapter, if I'm not mistaken BSD is about to change the logo with the new one, that looks like this:

BSD new logo

Back on the track here, another topic related search is the Google Linux search, that allows you to "search all penguin-friendly pages"

Google Linux search

Last (but not least) is the Google U.S. Government search, that allows you to search all .gov and .mil sites

Google Us Government search

You can find all these topic related searches in one place on the Special Google Searches page.

Dec 1, 2005

FireFox with Google Toolbar

Just logged in to my Google Adsense account today and I've seen a small message saying that: "The wait is over - Firefox referrals are now available internationally!"

This is very good, the FireFox referral program was available only to US Adsense users for like a month or so, but not internationally. I'm glad now I'm able to put on my blogs a "Get FireFox with Google Toolbar" button. They're cute and honestly some of the ads have somehow a display related to the iPod.

FireFox Google
So why the fuss about this? Well first of all, when a user downloads and installs Firefox through your referral, Google credits your account with up to $1.00. Of course, a Firefox referral is counted when a Windows user, who has not previously installed Firefox, downloads and runs the program for the first time.
Second of all, everybody has something with Bill and his browser, especially Google. So they're trying to cut down Internet Explorer's share by promoting FireFox. There are a lot of discussions about which browser is better and which is worse but the facts remain: Internet Explorer is still no. 1 with about 89% of the share and FireFox is somewhere around 8% (but with more than 100 million downloads).

If you have a blog or a website don't lose this opportunity, put on your website a FireFox referral button and start increasing your AdSense revenue. If you don't know what Google AdSense is I suggest clicking on the button from the right menu (that Adsense button) and creating an account:

Google Adsense
:), yes, there is a referral promotion for Google AdSense too: "When a publisher that signed up for AdSense through your referral earns their initial $100.00 and is eligible for payout, we'll credit your account with $100.00" says Google.