So some people have been asking me lately what is live.com, what’s new, what can it do that other services can’t, were is Microsoft hoping to go with Live.com and all it’s related services.

Well let me help you all out a little on these questions by providing you with an extract from a blog post titled Improving Live.com which I found on the Windows Live.com Team Blog, it answers questions like: What is live.com?  What is the team trying to accomplish and how well do they think they are doing?

Live.com is about three things:

  1. The best place to search on the web.  There are many ways where this is true today and we still have many areas to improve upon.  Today you can add search results to live.com by clicking on the add to live.com link from a search result. You can use powerful search filters to offer lists of feeds, and soon additional content which can all be added in 1 click to live.com.  Search gadgets make your search experience more compelling (take the image search gadget for example which gives you a slideshow of images you are interested in).  Performing searches gives you the ability to have several different views of your results.  Take a look at image search as an example and use the infinite scroll bar as a way to scroll through the content if you want to go deep into the results.  Or check out the academic search results.
  2. A personalized portal.  This is the thing we are doing the most of today because most of the technology is available.  It’s all about customization and control, themes, layouts, content, etc.  Make it yours.
  3. Get the benefits of Windows and Windows Live services.  Today we have a dashboard with interactive mini-applications called gadgets where you can have easy access to the Windows Live services that matter most to you.  We’re pulling together the pieces for building a robust platform where other partners can build and leverage the Windows Live ecosystem.  We’re also working on ways for you to be able to easily learn about windows and windows live services and most importantly integrating with other Windows devices and platforms like media center, xbox, office, etc.  Perhaps you’ve seen some of the gadgets on Microsoftgadgets.com that allow you to post your Xbox gamer tag, manage your Windows Live and mail and many others. 

We’re still in the early stages of all of this but I think we have a very compelling story.  As we’ve started to talk about this with our customers we see their faces light up when we show them where we’re headed.  We just need time to build it right.

Speaking of building it right, overall we realize there are a few key issues we need to address which we are working on as well.  I’m happy to tell you we are already working on all three of them for our next sprint which has already started:

  1. Performance.  This is our current top priority.  I can assure you that we are working on performance and plan to have significant improvements very soon.  We’ve been making progress but we still have a lot of work to do.  Scott Isaacs also has posted comments about our performance efforts here.  Stayed tuned for updates.
  2. Usability improvements.   We are doing various usability studies and identifying what areas on the site are most difficult to use.  We plan on making revisions based on the customer and usability lab feedback we are seeing.  Some of the improvements we are working on are working making it easier to change your gadget settings, like adding a city to weather or minimizing the amount of space the weather gadget takes up.  There’s also a lot of functionality that customers don’t know exists.  Examples include: minimizing the weather or stocks gadgets and getting minimized views of your data.  We are working to make sure these features are easy to discover and use.
  3. First Run Experience.  We are re-examining our first run experience to avoid confusion and make it easy to set up the page.

So how do we think we’re doing?  We think we’ve got our work cut out for us, but we think we’re on track.  Let us know what you think, we do appreciate your feedback. 

Via: Live.com Team Blog