Whilst investigating Windows Live Writer I was shocked to discover just how many other applications under the “Windows Live” banner either already exist or are in beta. Spaces is probably the best known, aimed at the blogging/photo sharing market. The Toolbar adds some of the forthcoming IE7 functionality, such as tabbed browsing and feed reading via Onfolio, to IE6 providing Firefox like capabilities. Messenger looks to be targeting Skye with calls to phones and an advert for integration with a Philips cordless phone. The Search site does a good impression of Google with options for images and news.
The Windows Live Local site was perhaps of the most interest to me. At first glance it is just a Google maps clone. However, the aerial photography is much better in some areas (you can tell, for example, that we still had a bird table in the garden when the imagery was taken) and the bird’s eye view adds an interesting perspective. I’m not convinced about installing the “Location Finder” though so Microsoft can track me down!
The most impressive thing is the level of integration between these various products. It would be a shame if Microsoft took over the internet though!