Horizon & Windows Live Core – Microsoft registers domains for dogfood

Its been almost a year since we first mentioned Windows Live Core, the project lead by Ray Ozzie to establish Microsoft’s software as a service platform and not much has been said since then. Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged its existance, despite the various exec bios and other documents mentioning the name. This isn’t suprising however when you consider that when it was started, the team was locked away in Red West C out of sight from both those inside and outside of Microsoft.  Since then we’ve made only a handful of posts, most of them relating to the massive spending on datacenters that has been occuring over the past year and Ozzie has remained more out of sight than is usual even for him.

In our 2007 recap post we mentioned Horizon, one part of Windows Live Core relating to file sychronisation and remote access that is at the internal dogfood stage. Since the new year Microsoft has since registered mshorizon.com (and the other main TLDs) to use for its testing. Of course if you’re not an employee you won’t see much beyond the Live ID signin page, but hidden inside is one part of Horizon, the web desktop. How long this stage of development and testing will last is unknown, but it seems unlikely that a half-baked solution will be put out for public consumption. Ozzie isn’t scheduled to speak at Mix08 either.

While we admit to being deliberately vague about Horizon (see point #7 of our manifesto), it helps that Ray Ozzie has already alluded to what Microsoft wants to deliver. Time to refer back to his Internet Services Disruption memo. We already talked briefly about opportunity #1, the seamless OS, when we talked about the recent Windows 7 news. Now its time to also include #3. Here’s what Ozzie said as a reminder:

“SEAMLESS OS – The operating system as it would be designed for today’s multi-PC, multi-device, work anywhere, web-based world.  Enabling you to login using any of your service-based or enterprise identities.  Deploying software automatically and as appropriate to all your devices, and roaming application data and settings.  Permitting seamless access to storage across all your PCs, devices, servers and the web.

SEAMLESS PRODUCTIVITY – Enabling you to create, find and organize documents and data among all the desktops, devices, servers and services to which you have access, and with all the others with whom you need to work, through ‘shared space’ products that are internet service-based, enterprise server-based and directly peer-to-peer.  Working within and across homes, small businesses, virtual workgroups and enterprises.”

One way we like to monitor the current trends inside Microsft is by the search keywords softies used to get to our site. Our top 10 searches for January, restricted to Microsoft users only, contains both ‘horizon windows live core’ and also ‘”windows live core” horizon’. Time to start paying attention.