Well this is kind of sad. A notice on Alerts.Live.com today is announcing that Windows Live Alerts will shut down:
Thank-you for your interest in Windows Live Alerts. After much consideration we have decided to discontinue this service as part of the Windows Live offerings. Please sign up with Windows Live Alerts partners directly to receive their newsletters or other content updates from them. Hotmail Calendar Alerts and reminders will continue to be managed by Windows Live Alerts for the time being.
According to a Microsoft spokesperson, operations will cease after September 30, 2010 (in 9 days). The service allowed subscriptions to a number of services and RSS feeds, including ours here at LiveSide. Starting out as MSN Alerts, it made the transition to Windows Live in August of 2006. While the service has probably been eclipsed by especially Twitter, recently it seemed to have become quite a bit speedier in sending out alerts.