/ hype

Microsoft's live.com

Sometime last week, Microsoft presented live.com. It’s basically their try to latch onto what they perceive as the whole Web 2.0 movement. Until a few days ago, there was no Firefox support, so I couldn’t properly test it. Yesterday I noticed that the little text saying “Firefox support soon to come” or something to that effect, had vanished, so I logged in with my old Hotmail address. From what I had read about the whole thing, I didn’t expect much more than yet another portal which lets you read headlines, check the weather and your mail on one single page (with your standard AJAX thrown in). Man, was I in for a surprise. Live.com is in fact not just just the above mentioned, in addition to being nothing Yahoo or even Google haven’t presented months or even years back, it’s also quite sloppily made.

After playing around with the settings (which consist of a selection of language, and a selection of the number of columns you want the site to consist of), I noticed that apart from changing the language, the settings are broken. Yes, broken. I tried changing the layout to three columns, and unless they changed the meaning of “3 columns” to “1 column”, the change didn’t work out.

Well, then there are what they call “gadgets”. These gadgets are a ticking clock, weather forecast, horoscope, mail and “welcome”. They let you add all these innovative products to your page, as well as feeds for all kinds of news.
I think I won’t have to point out again that all these things (except maybe a “welcome”) are available in My Yahoo and Personalized Google, and not only that, both these services are so much more customizable, it’s really quite fantastic that the good people at Microsoft were so brave to actually release this piece of nothingness.

Now, they call this thing Microsoft Live. Using it has reminded me once again why I have turned my back on Microsoft products and why I will never again turn back.