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I’ve had a busy week on the road, well until the gear-box on my car broke!

Anyway, it gives me a chance to catch my breath and post about a few things that have caught my eye recently.

Microsoft has gone all abit Live! Press announcement here. In brief, what was announced is that some new and existing product and services will align themselves under the Windows Live, Office Live or Xbox Live banner. For example MSN Messenger will become Windows Live Messenger with the next version. MSN will now concentrate on content. So the MSN butterfly will be no more!

I’m not clear on what products and services will be under each banner, I’m sure more details will come out in the next few weeks and months. Ms Foley is of the opinion that Office Live won’t be an AJAX version of Office. As for Hailstorm? I’m not going to jump on this bandwagon, we need security of some sort, lets wait till we see some details.

A well used market tool is to give new products and services a relation to existing successful products (cash cows) as this works in two ways. Firstly, gives the existing cash cow an extra lease of life and secondly helps establish the new products and services in the market place, which leads me a to a cautionary note. Who remembers when Microsoft gave everything the .Net suffix? As ‘.Net’ was tagged on to a whole range of products the definition of what ‘.Net’ actually was became blurred.

Now I’m not saying that the ‘Live’ suffix will become like the ‘.Net’ suffix but it is worth saying that if the products and services under each of the banners do not have close synergy with the headlining banner blurring is bound to happen.

Perhaps Microsoft should actually take comfort in its own name being the strongest brand. By not placing a product under any banner such as Windows, Office or Xbox will happily still guarantee it’s arrival purely because it has the name ‘Microsoft’ before it.

Posted on Friday, November 4, 2005 11:59 AM Main | Back to top

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