Microsoft announces new Windows Live hardware

Microsoft has today announced the expansion of its Windows Live hardware line, both with the new range of voip headsets (LifeChat) and a wider range of webcams (LifeCam). 

 – The Microsoft LifeCam NX-6000 will be widely available in November 2006 for an estimated retail price of $99.95 (U.S.). This is a laptop only webcam.

 – The Microsoft LifeCam VX-1000 will be widely available in September 2006 for an estimated retail price of $29.95. Readers have told us that this is already in the shops.

 – The Microsoft LifeChat products introduced today will be widely available in January 2007 for the following estimated retail prices:

  • Microsoft LifeChat ZX-6000: $69.95 (U.S.)
  • Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000: $39.95(U.S.)

With these new LifeChat devices launching soon, it's a shame that Microsoft's voip product currently falls well behind the likes of Skype in terms of features and extensibility, something which no amount of attractive hardware can rectify. Maybe the upcoming VoiceMail service, to be integrated in Live Mail (and the desktop version) v2, will remedy some of these deficiencies.

 Microsoft Press Release

Update: Pictures of these devices are available here.