Pluralsight blog Where devs, IT admins & creative pros go for news, tips, videos and more.
Supercharge your skills with expert-authored tech & creative training. Unlimited. Online. Get it now →
May 2, 2012

Microsoft Kills “Live” Dead… Sorta


In a recent post from the Building Windows 8 blog, Steven Sinofsky describes the array of cloud services that will be available in the Windows 8 and Windows mobile worlds while also calling out that the “Live” brand won’t be part of those worlds.  In the post he describes the issues with the “Live” brand as follows.

While these results are certainly noteworthy, they still did not meet our expectations of a truly connected experience.  Windows Live services and apps were built on versions of Windows that were simply not designed to be connected to a cloud service for anything other than updates, and as a result, they felt “bolted on” to the experience. This created some amount of customer confusion, which is noted in several reviews and editorials.  The names we used to describe our products added to that complexity: we used “Windows Live” to refer to software for your PC (Windows Live Essentials), a suite of web-based services (Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger), your account relationship with Microsoft (Windows Live ID), and a host of other offers.

While the name change is noteworthy, this doesn’t result in any less services available.  Most of the services are merely dropping the “Windows Live” or “Live” moniker and going forward with simpler names and Metro style apps for access, for example Windows Live Messenger becomes simply Messaging.  Microsoft appears to be using the disruptive impact of Windows 8 to clean up some of the branding missteps they’ve made over the past years. The chart below describes the changes.

Windows 8
Windows Phone
Web/HTML 5
API (dev.
Earlier Versions
Microsoft account
Microsoft account
Windows Live ID, Passport
SkyDrive app, SkyDrive Desktop
SkyDrive app, Office app
FolderShare, Live Mesh, Windows Live Mesh
Mail app
Mail app
Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express
Calendar app
Calendar app
Windows Live Mail, Windows Calendar
People app
People app
Windows Contacts
Messaging app
Messaging app
Integrated in Hotmail and SkyDrive
MSN Messenger
Photos/ Videos
Photos app, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker
Photos app, Camera Roll
REST, JSON (via SkyDrive)
Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker

About the Author

is a Chief Architect specializing in large scale distributed system development and enterprise software processes. Paul has more than twenty years of development experience including being a former Microsoft MVP, a speaker at technical conferences such as Microsoft Tech-Ed and VSLive, and a published author. Prior to working on the Windows platform, he built software using a vast array of technologies including Java, Unix, C, and even OS/2.