Getting ready for Windows Live Wave 3

With Wave 2 now well behind us, the focus of our writing is now moving onto the next set of Windows Live products – Wave 3. Kip has already talked about how Windows 7 will see a number of programs being removed from the core operating system, notably Photo Gallery, Mail and Movie Maker.

Only the last of these is not yet available as part of the Windows Live Suite, but that should change in the near future as Microsoft readies Windows Live Movie Maker (Codename Sundance). We certainly expect to see upgrades to most if not all of the other Windows Live products currently included in the Suite, as well as the much-rumoured Windows Live Groups.  We’ve even heard that Favourites may be on the receiving end too :) 

Then there has been the talk this week of the new Microsoft Value Box (Codename Albany), that makes Microsoft’s current software + services approach available to home users from off-the-shelf. Office and Office Live Workspaces will combine with Windows Live OneCare 2.5, though the Windows Live Suite is also rumoured to be making an appearance as a bunclled program too. The only potential downside to this being included is the seemingly inevitable conclusion that Microsoft is going to start charging users for the Windows Live services they currently get for free (which they won’t). Lets hope the PR champions are ready to take this challenge on.

And then there is the service that underpins all of the above, Windows Live ID. This appears due for an upgrade to v5.5 in the near future, with the new Delegated Authentication website already using the new version. WL ID has made great improvements in the last few releases, notably with Linked Live IDs and the new developer SDKs – it’ll be good to see what else they have up their sleeves.

(To recap, allows users to manage the websites that have access to their information and contacts, and if they so wish, to remove this access. This is particularly relevant in light of the Microsoft + social networks sharing contact information announcement this week.)