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Windows Live Is Dead

Microsoft power brokers either don't read this fine piece of work you have before you or simply don't care. Lately I've been complaining that it commonly changes product names, and even change what it calls test software -- all seemingly on a whim. And Microsoft doesn't strike me as a company usually driven by whim.

Apparently my views don't matter. Microsoft doesn't mind regularly confusing its customers by changing product names.

Now Windows Live, which I think sort of actually made sense, is being split into a bunch of different pieces -- and it is all, for some reason, because of Windows 8.

I guess the problem is that Windows Live has both online and offline content -- like Windows Live Essentials Movie Maker, which is good, old-fashioned hard drive-based software.

That just doesn't seem enough to throw the whole brand out.

One coming change is Windows Live ID, which used to be Passport, will now be just Windows Account. Hey, what was so wrong with Passport? That's what I still think of it as.

Windows Live Essentials, which are a bunch of add-ons (some Web, some not), will all be renamed for Windows 8 (and renamed again when Redmond marketers get bored).

Is this driving you as batty as it is me? Complain or set me straight at



Posted by Doug Barney on 05/07/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Thu, May 10, 2012 Mike SC

Well, its like Hollywood, when the creativity is dead, just repackage something that someone created, change some colors and give it a good theme song and viola! a new product! Exclusively available on usnet I bet..

Wed, May 9, 2012 JP470 JEFFERSON CITY, MO

Darn right it is confusing!! Glad you mentioned Passport, I didn't even realize that Passport was replaced with Windows Live ID. I've been creating a new ID every time they change name.

Tue, May 8, 2012 Max Orlando

Some days, Doug, I really get the feeling that they're changing all this stuff around for no other reason than to just, well, change it! I'm a software developer myself (for over 35 years). I can appreciate wanting to tweak and tune a product and add features but sometimes, on the other end as a user, I wonder why something that works fine has to always be swapped out every time you turn around! Once I've got a toolset built I'd like to just use it for awhile without constantly being told that I need something else!

Tue, May 8, 2012 Tom Hockman Dublin, OH

Microsoft's unwillingness to stick with any brand that has less than steller market share is going to kill the company in the long run. Other than Windows, Office, and Xbox, the company has abandoned every branding or product initiative like Zune, Live, Silverlight, and even Bob (OK, Bob was worth killing off). At this rate, I don't expect them to stand by Windows Phone, either. The copmany can't seem to focus on anything. This is the reason that Ballmer must go. It's his scatterbrained vision causing this confusion.

Mon, May 7, 2012 Jeff Houston

Definitely an annoying practice. Unfortunately, MS is not alone: WinFrame -> MetaFrame -> Presentation Server -> XenApp... I guess marketing types have to do *something* to appear productive.

Mon, May 7, 2012 James Byers Houston

Tell me about it. Perhaps Microsoft is struggling with product transitions, like from Frontpage to SharePoint Designer (I think Web Expressions fits in there, too). I find the product line unclear, and the renaming does not help. The way the name/rename, it makes it look like they never fully understood the underlying technology and what direction to take.

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