REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 1, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. tonight began rolling out Windows Live™ Spaces, the next generation of the world’s most widely used blogging service, MSN® Spaces. The new service includes social networking features designed to help users discover and connect with friends through their trusted contacts and allows customers to personalize their Windows Live Spaces with gadgets. Microsoft also announced additional progress on Windows Live with the launch of Windows Live Toolbar, the Windows Live QnA beta and the releases of enhanced safety services in the coming weeks.
“With the release of products such as Windows Live Spaces, we continue to deliver on our mission of bringing customers closer to the information and people that matter to them most,” said Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of the Online Services Group at Microsoft. “Windows Live and Internet-based ad-funded software and service are critical to driving growth for the company, and we are energized about the continued investments we’re making to help provide consumers with a seamless and safer online experience.”
The World’s Most Used Blogging Service Meets the World’s Largest IM Community
As the next generation of the popular MSN Spaces, Windows Live Spaces will allow consumers to tell their story and customize their site with blogs, photo albums, music lists and more. Windows Live Spaces is designed to connect users to their real social network of friends — people in their Windows Live Contacts list — that is integrated across Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail and other services — and introduce them to people through these trusted contacts. Users that are already on one another’s Windows Live Messenger contact lists can initiate instant messaging conversations from within Windows Live Spaces.
Expanded social networking opportunities through Windows Live Spaces are balanced by enhanced privacy tools that give users full control over permission settings to specify who can contact them through the service, see their profile information and view the contents of their site. The respective permissions and communications preferences are clearly displayed alongside the user’s profile information and can be updated at any time. For those under age 18, the default setting in their Windows Live Spaces profile is that only people in the user’s Windows Live Messenger contact list can gain access to his or her space.
In addition, consumers will be able to choose from hundreds of gadgets — specialized mini-applications created by developers from the community and content partners — to easily personalize their Windows Live Spaces. Customers can create a Windows Live Space at http://spaces.live.com and find gadgets at http://gallery.live.com.
Microsoft Continues to Deliver on Windows Live Strategy
As the launch season continues, additional Windows Live services continue to be rolled out, and by the end of the summer Microsoft expects to ship almost half of the 20 beta services the company has been testing. To help provide a safer and more secure online experience, Microsoft will launch a number of new safety services in the coming weeks, including Windows Live OneCare™ Safety Scanner, a beta version of which was released in November 2005 as Windows Live Safety Center. Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner is a free, on-demand PC scanner that checks for and removes viruses and gets rid of unused files on the hard disk for improved PC performance.
Microsoft will also integrate enhanced safety features into Windows Live Toolbar, which was launched in a total of 38 markets this week. Windows Live Toolbar is designed to help consumers easily find, save and act on information and services across the Internet. It also includes access to the newly launched Windows Live OneCare Advisor, which provides quick and easy access to the Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner and an updated version of Microsoft® Phishing Filter that includes additional functionality to help protect consumers from online data theft.
Also coming soon to customers in the United States is the Windows Live QnA beta, a new vertical search experience designed to help people find the information they are looking for by allowing them to ask and answer questions from an online community on a given topic. Consumers will be able to tap into the power of the online community to search for answers on a variety of subject areas and topics including business, health, arts, sports, technology and more. Those interested can learn more and sign up for the beta at http://qna.live.com.
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some
Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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