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Microsoft gives Windows Live launch a Web 2.0 scrub-up

Wants to sync with customers' digital lives

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft is giving its Windows Live services a social networking makeover in the hope of being a contender in the ulcerative Web 2.0 world.

The firm gave its somewhat unwieldy Windows Live services the red carpet treatment late yesterday, placing a big emphasis on how it plans to make its online offerings more “in sync” with customers’ digital lives.

In other words, it wants a chunk of the Facebook action, even though boydroid Mark Zuckerberg isn't exactly turning round much of a profit with everybody’s favourite stalking website.

The Windows Live changes will be rolled out in the US over the coming weeks, while the rest of the world will have to wait until early 2009, said Microsoft.

The company will intermingle its Spaces, Windows Live Hotmail (which just underwent a revamp, leading to many grumbles) and Windows Live Messenger services more closely together.

Microsoft has stressed it isn’t trying to turn its online kit and caboodle into a social networking jamboree, but the overhaul to its services seem to suggest otherwise.

It will introduce Twitter “news feeds”, Facebook-esque profiles and other Web 2.0-stylie concepts to knit its sprawling services and tools together online in the hope of getting customers to stay with MS as they idle away more hours on the interweb.

Microsoft has also signed up other internet firms, including Amazon to provide product reviews and Wordpress to display blog rolls.

It’s also offering storage options for photos and will provide links to third-party sites such as Yahoo!’s Flickr and Photobucket too.

Redmond is very proud of what it views as being a big, noisy Web 2.0 splash.

“[The] release not only marks a milestone in the evolution of the internet, but also represents a key new opportunity for developers, advertisers and other organisations to build services that serve their respective constituencies,” it said. ®

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