Next week we’ll begin our 8th year as LiveSide.net.  It’s been an interesting journey, and while the landscape has changed considerably since we started, we’re still excited about Microsoft’s consumer services, and we’re excited to be back for another year.  While Windows Live has come and gone, we’re still here, as are most of the products and services that made up our namesake.  We thought seriously about changing our name, too, but this isn’t about starting over, it’s about covering Microsoft’s ongoing trials and tribulations with consumer services.

Today, along with a site revision aimed at making LiveSide faster to load and easier to read, we’ve made a number of changes behind the scenes.  First, we’ve switched from our dedicated Windows 2008 server to a Windows Azure / Windows Server 2012 R2 VM.  We’ll have some more to say about our experience on Azure as we move forward, but so far it’s been pretty seamless, especially since we’ve been running on Windows for quite some time.

In addition, we’ve made some changes to expand our Gallery section.  While what we have posted now is mostly a “proof of concept”, the plan is to fill out our People, Services, and Orgs sections to go along with our Device Gallery.

We’ve also added an Events section, to keep tabs on upcoming events where Microsoft will have a presence.  That too, is just in its infancy, but stay tuned!

We’re sure there are some bugs to iron out as we move forward, but to be honest we don’t want to pay for another month of dual hosting, so here we go!