If you are currently using any of Microsoft’s web services, you may have received an email today notifying of upcoming changes to the Microsoft Services Agreement, to become effective on September 27, 2012. Whilst these service agreements usually tends to be quite boring to read, thanks to a tip from LiveSide reader Andy and Picturepan2 from LiveSino.net, we noticed something interesting about the wordings on some of the products and services included. Below is an excerpt from the email itself (emphasis ours):
…our online services – including your Microsoft account and many of our online products and services for consumers, such as Hotmail, SkyDrive, Bing, MSN, Office.com, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Mail Desktop, and Windows Writer.
Whilst we’ve seen Microsoft rebranding Windows Live Photo Gallery and Movie Maker as simply “Windows Photo Gallery” and “Windows Movie Maker” when they released Windows Essentials 2012 last month, we can’t help but noticed that Microsoft had left Messenger, Mail and Writer almost unchanged, including their Windows Live branding. This led to many of our readers speculating that these products might be on their way out soon. However, from the email above, it seems like Microsoft might be rebranding Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Writer as “Windows Mail Desktop” and “Windows Writer” soon, and this gives some hope that the next update to Windows Essentials might see some added features to these two products. Unfortunately, Microsoft did not rename Windows Live Messenger, which makes sense as many are suspecting that the service may be gradually phased out, or otherwise integrated, with Skype.
What’s also interesting is the “Windows Mail Desktop” branding – for those who may recall, Windows Live Mail used to be called Windows Live Mail Desktop before they decided the name was too long, and shortened it as simply Windows Live Mail. This created huge branding confusion at that time as Windows Live Hotmail was also once called “Windows Live Mail”. It appears Microsoft may be reverting back to the “Mail Desktop” branding now to avoid confusion with Windows 8’s Mail app. With Hotmail being rebranded as Outlook.com, perhaps we might one day see “Windows Mail Desktop” revert back to Outlook Express?