Windows Live Platform Announcements: Cool new toys just in time for Mix

With Mix08 less than a week away, details of what’s coming are slowly creeping out: details of the IE8 beta, Scott Guthrie has posted details about Silverlight 2.0. And now the Windows Live Platform team is announcing today a series of new and updated features, including a new Messenger Library API, significant updates to Silverlight Streaming, an updated Windows Live Contacts API and Windows Live Photos API, and new Quick Apps and Visual Studio tools. Update: David Treadwell has just made the announcement on

We’ll go into more detail (and will be trying out ourselves) many of the new toys soon, but for now here’s a quick look:

  • Messenger Library API beta
    • This new addition to the Windows Live Platform family will allow third party developers to build their own complete custom Messenger applications on cross platform websites, using a new set of APIs to access and deliver Messenger functionality to websites.  This means that websites could build their own front ends to Messenger on their websites, with all of the functionality (and a good deal more) of a Messenger client.

  • Silverlight Streaming updated:
    • Silverlight Streaming, which has been in Alpha and offering 4gb of storage space and 22mb file limits, is now in beta. 
    • Upgraded to 10gb of storage space and 100mb+ file size limits
    • 1400kbps streaming speeds (free for up to 500,000 minutes/mo)
    • Better file manipulation with the ability to use Windows Explorer
    • and better support for Visual Studio 2008 with Windows Live Tools for Visual Studio,
    • You can take a look at a Hi-Def video streamed from Silverlight Streaming video here, and we’ll have more soon.

  • Windows Live Contacts API Beta
    • The Windows Live Contacts API Beta allows people to use their Windows Live contact information (including Hotmail, Messenger, and Mobile contacts) with any site—while keeping complete control of their data.  Featuring Windows Live Delegation Authentication, the Contacts API can return Full or “invite” information (many sites just need name and primary email for invitations, and the Contacts API now allows that without exposing any other Windows Live Contacts information).

  • Windows Live Photo API CTP
    • The updated Windows Live Photo API gives full control of photos stored on Spaces using the Atom Publishing Protocol or WebDAV, and now photos shown on a third party site are not required to go through the site – the API will call Spaces directly, and photos can be shown as thumbnails as well as time-limited permalinks (yeah, sounds contradictory…):
      WLPphoto1 WLPphoto2 WLPphoto3

  • Windows Live ID Delegated Authentication
    • Windows Live ID Delegated Authentication enables any web applications to request permission from users to access their Windows Live data
    • Windows Live servers securely handle access control and user authentication
    • Some Web sites would request Live ID and password – this is not necessary with Delegated Authentication
    • Users can manage and revoke access at any time

  • Windows Live Quick Apps
    • Two new Quick Apps, Contoso University and AdventureWorksResorts have been added, and Tafiti, the search app, has been updated.  We’ll have more on Tafiti and the Quick Apps soon, in the mean time, Angus has some more information on them.

  • Windows Live Tools for Visual Studio
    • 4 key enhancements:
      • Windows Live Messenger IM Control integration (which Angus hinted at)
      • Deploy your controls to partially-trusted environments, including medium trust web hosting farms
      • Silverlight 2 SDK compatibility
      • No longer depends on ASP.NET Futures

  • ATOM Publishing Protocol
    • Atom is a simple XML format for exchanging data in the form of feeds (which Windows Live Writer already supports)
    • The Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) is a lightweight HTTP-based protocol for publishing and storing Atom-encoded feeds
    • Windows Live services will align with a consistent AtomPub-based interface
      WLPatom1 WLPatom2

This is a lot of information to throw down all at once – but we’ll be going into more detail in the upcoming days, as well as hearing more about a lot of it at Mix. We’re writing this under embargo a few hours before it’s set to go live, so we don’t have a lot of live links yet, but we’re sure Angus will have more on his blog, and of course there will be lots of info at