Jamie Thomson has a lovely overview of whats coming for Windows Live Spaces and where its heading. That Windows Live Banner above the new Spaces looks huge. I am holding out though, but I hope that Microsoft realizes that blogging is still important and the experience needs to be improved for the millions of loyal users. Spaces is what got me into blogging in the first place. I tried Blogger and gave up. When the first beta came out for MSN Spaces December 9, 2004 I was like ‘finally’. But today’s de-emphasizing gives me the feeling that its not impossible for Microsoft to just kaput the service in the future for the sake of Social Networking and provide an experience similar to Facebook.
Ahhhh Live Spaces. Once purported to be the world’s biggest social network it has become a laughing stock in the online world as its users (of which I am one) battle through the trials and tribulations of poor performance, comment posting errors and endless endless spam. With the upcoming release of Windows Live wave 3 we see a shift in emphasis away from Spaces as a social networking hub to being a bit part player in an over-arching strategy of Windows Live becoming an aggregator of all of a person’s online activity. Indeed Microsoft don’t even consider Windows Live to be a social network anymore so says Windows Live General Manager Brian Hall:
“I’m happy to tell you that we’re not creating “yet another social network”. we’re building more ways to keep in touch w/ the people you already have if you’re a Windows Live Messenger or Windows live Hotmail customer”
Just to emphasize the point, take a look at where Spaces now appears in the Windows Live navbar. Its not even on the first-level, its been relegated to a submenu in favour of the three ‘P’s; Profile, People and Photos:
It even appears below that little-known service Windows Live Events.
Features like photo-sharing, events, file-sharing, profile all used to be part of Spaces but now they’ve moved up the stack to become siblings of Spaces rather than adjuncts to it. So what’s left? Well interestingly Spaces is now solely what it was always intended to be back when it was called MSN Spaces –a blogging platform- so let’s take a look at it from that perspective.
Here’s my new Space: