– announcing “Ultimate” improvements?

Conspicuously missing from all the wave 2 upgrades and marketing for the new look Windows Live has been, the one time personalized home page of the future.  Once the golden child of Windows Live, touted as the future of the home page, then mired in performance problems, low usage numbers, and a lack of a coherent monetization strategy, has seemingly lost favor within Microsoft, if it was ever in favor at all.  In fact we’ve heard nothing from the blog for nearly six months, until last week.

With Live Search concentrating efforts on capturing current MSN users, it doesn’t make much sense to push anyone away from the home page toward Yet in another example of the branding confusion we’ve come to know from Microsoft, instead of consolidation or renewed emphasis on, Windows Live rolled out yet another new home page that seemingly competes with both and, Windows Live Home.

Yet last week the team did blog again, in a somewhat embarrassing post that mainly rehashed months old information about other Windows Live products, but did offer a bit of encouragement:

As a team we shall continue the great work on new stuff. We know you all are eager to know the details! Unfortunately it’s not yet ready to be disclosed. But stay tuned to hear back from us sooooon:-)

For those of us that follow the antics of Microsoft, this post sounded all too eerily familiar.  Much like the Windows Vista Ultimate team, who somehow seem to think empty promises and occasional blog posts are all that we deserve, what we’re getting from the team is, as a commenter on the blog post said – “too little, too late”.  Brandon LeBlanc says “If I were Lenovo, Qwest, or Verizon I’d be pissed Microsoft has waited so long to update especially having their brands attached to the site.”  Although luckily we didn’t have to pay a premium for the way Ultimate Extras buyers paid, expecting much out of at this point is about as pointless as waiting for Ultimate Extras.  Too little, too late, indeed.