Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Ok, I get live.com.

Today, I read an entry by Rick Strahl stating that he doesn't get live.com, particularly because the interface was non-intuitive. Here's the link: http://west-wind.com/weblog/posts/5290.aspx.

That post prompted me to check out live.com. I don't get what he doesn't get. When I logged in to my passport account (using the 'sign in' link at the top right), I saw my email right away, and a bunch of crap I wasn't interested in. Each section of crap had a little 'X' that I clicked on, to get rid of it.

The top left of the page had a link to '+ add stuff'. I click that, and I get a cascading menu of options to choose from. I click the add button, and it shows up on my page. In 5 minutes, I had the crap removed, and 8 sections of stuff I care about showing up. I didn't like the layout, so I dragged-and-dropped the sections around, until I was happy with the organization.

There are some cool options for stuff, too. I have one called peculiar postings from MSNBC.com. The first entry is titled 'Mom's corpse is my co-pilot'. That is an article that I have to read.

I particularly focused on the weather gadget. It showed me Seattle weather by default. That makes me happy, since we are moving there. I didn't like the size of the gadget, so i clicked the little caret to minimize it. Now I have a one-line entry that shows cloudiness, low temp, and high temp for Seattle. But wait, I live in Jacksonville still. So, I maximize the gadget, and click the plus sign. Type in Jacksonville, FL, and I get both Seattle and Jax weather. Since I'm in Jax still, I drag and drop jax above seattle. Now, when I minimize, I see that it is partly cloudy in Jax, with a low of 67° and a high of 91°. And the 91° is even in red, so I can see that it's freakin hot today.

Five minutes, folks. Normally, I don't really push the new MSFT stuff, but I might actually change my homepage away from Google to live.com now. There's a search bar at the top, which presumably uses MSN search, but I get all this other great free content.

I am a happy consumer.


Rick Strahl said...

The thing I don't get is what all the hoopla is about - yeah, it does something, but it does it neither well, nor is it anything that hasn't been done before a million times and much better at that.

Further it's horrible Web design and usability, which is a real bad for a big company like Microsoft to put forth in my opinion. You don't want to see half-assed stuff that Microsoft is promoting to the general public - it's a problem not just for Microsoft but also for developers who use Microsoft tech and base their livelyhood on it.

Cullen Waters said...

I totally agree that there is way too much hype about it. I do like the new versions of hotmail and messenger. I don't see a big deal about live.com, other than it may be a valid replacement for google as my home page (assuming that I can get used to MSN search, which I haven't been able to yet).

I don't agree that the usability is that bad. I found it relatively easy to do the tasks that I wanted to do.

I also didn't notice the speed problems that you had. The only place I noticed a speed problem was in Live Favorites, which took forever to delete a record. I think they went to Ajax with that page, and should have stuck to the hotmail interface (check a bunch of boxes, and click one button to delete the selected rows).

Anonymous said...

"personalize google" does the exact same thing, except you are integrated with a superior search engine (google), a superior email solution (gmail) have access to more content and still "do no evil" ;)

Anonymous said...

The reason I like Live is mainly because the RSS Feeds are easily readable. All you need to do is hover your mouse on the article/post link and the article is displayed instantly in a floating box-like thing, even the layout and pictures are decent. Same for flickr photo,etc.

Those who prefer Google Search, microsoftgadgets has some of them, one of which is particularly good and I'm using it myself it has a little arrow beside the search button(which is Google Web Search) that allows you to select Google Images, Froogle, Blog Search and even Wikipedis/Yahoo.

Although it needs some polishing and the speed needs to improve furthur (it is no longer sluggish but isn't google-fast either).

I'm sure by the time its out of beta it'll rock.

Now only if they get Vista "R2" (Fiji) right (lost hope for Vista already).