Some weeks ago, Microsoft launched it's new version of Live.com. I've had a bit of time to check it out, and having an MSN email account with the Live Mail Beta (social pressures, I swear!) I thought it wise to see what they had to offer.

Nothing original, really.

Widgets on a page, that you can move around (which is pretty nice, I admit), it's basically an Ajax RSS reader. Wowwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

The search seems sucky to me. I absolutely hate the layout, maybe that's because I'm used to Google, but the frame? Jeeze Louise. It seriously does my nut in. I shall not be using it until they improve the search at least..

Mail.Live.com is OK. I mean, it's OWA (Outlook Web Access) with a little Ajax thrown in for good measure. I can't see the orginiality, maybe it's what we have (should?) come to expect from Microsoft.

Please don't take away from this post that I am a Microsoft hater. I think they have done alot to bring the computing market to the home consumers. But their approach to technologies, ideas and implimentation of those ideas seems to fall short nearly every time.

Links:

http://www.live.com

http://mail.live.com

http://www.microsoft.com

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Flock, a "social browser", hit the scene late in 2005 I believe. I installed it as soon as the first developer preview was released, and although it felt nice – I didn’t think I needed all the features at the time. So uninstallation began.

But now, after having a flickr account, after having a few blogs, after being interested in social bookmarking, I have changed my mind quite to the opposite that it was a few months ago.

I find the flickr integration perfect for my needs. I find the blogging integration perfect for my needs. (I have yet to try the social bookmarking side of things – but that’s what I’ll be doing after this post!

The point I’m trying to make is that I know alot of people think and say "Why not just build extensions for Firefox", and even "Flock are just out to make a quick buck – corporate greed". But I would tend to disagree with these assumptions.

Firstly, extensions for FF would be nice. BUT – In my personal experience, extensions can bloat the memory used by FF to a considerable degree. Also, what happens when there’s a new version of Firefox out? Yup… you guessed it… alot of extensions break. With flock, it’s integrated, so no breakages when updating. No waiting for a new release of the extension. And, also, no hunting for the extensions in the first place.

Re: Corporate Greed. As a business man myself, I can tell you every business minded person that see’s an opportunity, feels compelled to plan, and impliment a strategy to take advantage of that opportunity. In my opinion, the flock team saw an opportunity and took a-hold of it. And good for them.

On the practical side of things, the colouring and interface that the flock guys came up with is pretty damned sweet! 🙂

Just my 2 cents (or sense) (or…penny, seeing as I’m from England :/)

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