Well, it’s started. I’m sitting about 20 feet from Bill Gates, who’s speaking now. Next to Niall Kennedy. Dave Winer, Steve Gillmor and Dan Farber are at the table next to me. About 200 people total are here.
I’ll eventually get these notes up on TechCrunch in the form of something readable. Tons of services to profile.
There’s also an xbox sitting on a table and I was able to take some great pictures. I’m uploading pictures in real time on Flickr. Some are up already.
Bill started off talking about the recent history of microsoft software and, generally, hardware. He hasn’t gotten to the announcement yet. Everything is centered around evolution of hardware and software towards better interaction. Mentioned 2 million people are now using xbox live.
Spoke about xbox 360, gave a demo. Great interaction features to see when friends are online, what they are playing, joining in, etc. Also extended media center features.
Came back on stage at 10:37, announced Windows Live and Office Live. WWW.LIVE.COM
Windows Live: Primarily ad supported. Does not kill off MSN.
Office Live: “internet based services for growing and managing your business online.” extensible, thousands of partners. ad supported level with tier above requiring subscription.
In a new slide, Bill is differentiating between products (windows, xbox, etc.) and technologies (mapping, machine learning, etc.)
Ray Ozzie, CTO, is now on stage at 10:43. Talking about a flattening of the world. internet services are transformative technologies.
Ray notes three trends, says he is giving us a preview of how microsoft is reshaping microsoft to work around these trends. Says “we will show products in the open. will ship progressively, out in the open.”
1. Seamless Experience. multiple pcs, multiple roles (work/home), multiple devices, multiple organizations, multiple people. There is a huge need for seemless experiences. 97% of photos never get off camera phones because people can’t get them off.
Talks about ipod and itunes as a perfect example of seemless service. Says xbox live is another example. says products must be designed in concert with eachother or else there cannot be integration.
web has blurred between ajax, flash, and downloaded code. user accepts that internet is part of the pc experience.
2. consumer adoption patterns – try, use, buy, etc. customers are used to it being an ongoing experience. software updates online are a given now, for instance.
3. Online advertising: growing rapidly. can build realbusinesses around it. may grow to $150b by 2015. worldwide market is $500b. Talks about the overture model. we’ve barely scratched the serive on how to pair ads with people (sounds like battelle’s book). MS has 10% share of online advertising today.
Showing the microsoft ad engine slide. windows products on one side, the world on the other. wow.
Windows is “software and services that brings together your digital life.” Sure sounds like “live” is what we’ve been saying is “web 2.0″ all this time (except without the RSS, at least so far).
Windows is completely separate from Windows Live. Interaction through documents only.
Blake Irving came on stage at 11:10 to do a Windows Live demo. Windows Live is a new home page. Has a search bar. Demo broke, which is weird because it works in the audience, site is live.
Discussed Microsoft Gadget. Says can add flickr info to that homepage and other third party data as well.
Ray Ozzie came back on stage while they are fixing the demo…
Blake is back. Demo is working again.
Does a search for cycling on live.com. Looks like standard ajax stuff on a virtual desktop Blake is doing searches, adding to desktop permanently. Can search just for feeds. Can grab enclosures and include directly on homepage (yellowjackets example).
Integrated feed reader. change number of columns, up to 4 columns.
(there are no power strips and I am just about empty).
the snazzy stuff is integration with third party services. photos via flickr is excellent example.
One of the gadgets you can add is “live safety center”, a free pc scanning software that allows you to check the health of your pc. Upsell opportunity.
The best stuff happened after my power ran out and the connection went down. Live integrates a new IM client directly into the service, and it included outbound POTS calls. Big wow moment there.
After the Windows Live demo they showed office live.
Spoke about Office Live. This will launch in Q1 next year. This is not a replacement to Office, it’s a different type of product.
It’s basically a business portal and services. Free model with ads, plus premium subscription model with “less ads”.
Nice way for a company to quickly create its own website with a rich text editor and manage email (up to 50 accounts). There are also 22 separate business applications that run on the platform, including real time collaboration on office documents among group members.
The platform is extensible. Rahesh showed an ADP payroll application included within Live Office.
Random presentation at the end by Dick Frost, CEO of RE3w. No idea.