November 21, 2005 7:37 AM PST

Microsoft adds e-mail, IM to Live.com

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Microsoft has introduced a domain hosting service for its fledging Live.com product line.

The software giant on Friday launched the beta version of Windows Live Custom Domains service. It will provide e-mail, instant messaging and links to other MSN services to people who have existing Web site domain names.

The service is the latest that the Redmond, Wash., company has previewed since the unveiling earlier this month of Live.com, a Web site and set of rebranded services rooted in Microsoft's MSN Web portal business.

The company posted a list of Live.com-branded services under development on the Web site, Windows Live Ideas. Microsoft lists many of the services, such as its Live.com Web content aggregation site and Web-based Windows Live Mail site, in beta testing.

With its Custom Domains service, Microsoft will give consumers up to 20 e-mail accounts with 250MB per address for an existing Internet domain name.

It will include junk-mail filtering and virus scanning and allow a person to check e-mail from any Web-enabled PC. The service will simplify access to MSN Messenger, MSN Spaces and other MSN services, according to the company.

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Did IBM, With Microsoft's Help...
... drop the "ball" on on OpenDoc (Live) that was already integrated in IBM's OS/2 Warp Ver. 4... "OpenDoc was invented to solve this and quite a few other problems. OpenDoc is a way of building compound documents with collections of small, portable components called Parts. These parts reside in Containers, and you can put any type of part into any kind of container. Learn only one text-editing part and you can put it into any document container you please. The same goes for spreadsheet parts, or graphics parts, spellchecking parts and so on.

What makes this idea really powerful is that even though you may have been given a document originally written with, say MegaSoft's word processing part, you can choose to edit it with the ClearLook part that you're more used to. As long as the data type is the same, it can be worked on with any part designed to edit that particular type. This way you know you can always edit compound documents with your favorite tools, rather than the ones you're forced to use.

Bundled with Warp 4.0 (and freely downloadable from IBM's Club OpenDoc if you still have Warp 3) is OpenDoc 1.0, complete with a basic set of containers and parts for you to get started with. These include a basic Page Layout container, a Text part, 2D Graphics part, Audio part, Image part and Video part. These are hidden in the OpenDoc folder in the Utilities folder of the Programs Folder upon a default install of Warp 4.

To create new documents and parts, you simply open the OpenDoc Templates folder and drag one of the templates into either a Desktop folder or an OpenDoc container. We started a document (GIF, 30k) this way, first creating a new Page Layout container and then dragging a Text Part from the template into the open document. This created a resizeable Text Part frame in the Page Layout container that we could enter text into, change formatting and more. What we found even more interesting is that we could also drag a Text Part from the template into a regular folder and create a separate file -- just of that one text part.

This Text Part could then be opened in its own window where we could enter text and formatting, save and close, then drag-and-drop the file into the Page Layout container. One begins to imagine how this could be used at a newspaper or magazine, where individual journalists write their articles in a Text Part, then mail that file to their editor who then drag-n-drops it into the master layout.

Also in the OpenDoc folder is a Part Editor Preferences applet. This is a properties notebook which allows you to select which part you want to use for each registered data type. Thus whenever you open a document on your machine you always know what parts will be used for each kind of data, be it text, tables, 2D graphics, images or whatever. At this time we didn't have much choice here since the OpenDoc that ships with Warp 4 only comes with a basic minimum of parts".

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.os2ezine.com/v1n13/opendoc.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.os2ezine.com/v1n13/opendoc.htm</a>

Taken within the context of any ocurrent web application's capabilities and anything "Live" from Microsoft, (and as was quoted from Channel Web "which derives billions from the "rich client" world of Windows and Office, clearly sees the threat, but seems positioned to straddle a world of thin and thick clients. One partner says its plan is to have offerings for three scenarios, "thin client, fat network" where most functionality resides in the cloud; "fat client, thin network," which is basically the old Windows and Office model; and a hybrid for companies who want to mix and match such capabilities as needed": <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.channelweb.com/nl/execbriefing/showArticle.jhtml?sssdmh=dm4.158562&#38;articleId=174400425" target="_newWindow">http://www.channelweb.com/nl/execbriefing/showArticle.jhtml?sssdmh=dm4.158562&#38;articleId=174400425</a> as well as "Google Challenge"... IBM's OS/2 OpenDoc (Live) would certainly be the "Operating System Platforms to be beaten!
Posted by Captain_Spock (894 comments )
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Poor Google Attempt
This is Microsoft's poor attempt to mirror another technology...again. I visited Microsoft's Live.com and it is nothing to be excited about. It's slow, not very attractive and something that should not be advertised as something to promote Microsoft. Sorry Bill, Google already beat you to this one as well!
Posted by LeeqDMB (1 comment )
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Good competition
Consider it good for competition. It will eventually benifit us ('Customers'). Make google to keep innovating.

Competition is always good.
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
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A better idea...
I'm suprised Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, etc don't take this one step further and offer unlimited free e-mail accounts for ANY domain.

Think about the various organizations (churches, schools, user groups, family websites, independant websites, city &#38; towns, etc.) out there. They all have their own little website. What if they could offer free e-mail with their domain. They would have a multitude of organizations promoting to their constituents to sign up.

A branded GMail or Hotmail interface off of a canonical name (such as mail.domain.com) would be needed so the original website stays intact. A revenue share of the ad sales would be quite an incentive to promote!
Posted by gjc (2 comments )
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Just cannot understand why...
... one billion Indian Nationals, one billion Chinese Nationals and all the other hundreds of millions of people would put their corporate trust (secured email accounts) in a Google or Microsoft style email system. What happens when Redmond decides to dump all of these email accounts!
Posted by Captain_Spock (894 comments )
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