New MS posts on Windows Live Wave 3 – is blogging back in fashion?

Hopefully the blogging logjam we’ve been experiencing for the past year is beginning to clear, as there are a number of new posts on Windows Live Wave 3 appearing in MS team blogs and also in some of the individual employee blogs.  As much as we’ve been critical of the silence, we do want to point out that probably no other tech company supports blogging as much as Microsoft (how many Apple blogs do you read, or even know about?).  We think blogging is an important part of Microsoft’s attempt to succeed with software + services, so we want to be encouraging as well as critical.

There have been a lot of posts on Wave 3, you can check in with our “Blogs We Like”, or our “List” for a more complete list of Windows Live blogs, or links to blogs by category.  We wanted to feature just a couple here.

The Inside Windows Live Messenger has a nice overview of new features in the new beta.  Unfortunately at the moment some of the image links are broken, but hey we’ve had our share of irritating issues, too.  Hopefully they’ll be fixed soon.

In the post Steven Abrams starts out noting the new stuff in the beta:

Some of the changes you’ll notice right away:

Glassy: The new Messenger, like the other Windows Live beta programs, is now framed in beautiful Windows Vista “glass,” similar to what you may have seen in Windows Vista.

Clean: We simplified the main window by removing the top toolbar and moving tabs from the side to the bottom. We found people really weren’t using the top toolbar buttons except for Mail, so we found a new spot for Mail, and removed the other toolbar buttons. We also really cleaned up the conversation window, made the toolbars there more streamlined, and gave you more room to IM. 

People, people, people: You told us you wanted to see real pictures of people. So, now you can display your contacts’ real display pictures in your contact list. You can choose from 3 different picture sizes, or, no picture at all.

People and web search: You can now search for people and web pages from one field. If you type in someone’s name, we first look to see if they are in your contact list. If they aren’t, you can try searching for their profile on Windows Live, or for other info about them on the web. You can also just type in Movies in 94118 and click web search, and we’ll take you directly to the Internet search results.

Categories and groups: What used to be called “groups” is now called “categories.” The old “groups” were really just categories of your Messenger contacts. This change makes room for a new, more powerful groups feature that you can use across all of the Windows Live services. We’ll talk more about that below.

Quite a few comments on the post already, good work Steven and Inside Windows Live Messenger.

Another post that caught our eye was Dare Obasanjo’s post on Windows Live Calendar.  It’s a nice real world example of how Windows Live has taken a big step forward with the new Live Mail calendar integration.

We’ll try to keep you up to date on the best of the blogs (and continue to poke around on our own), but just wanted to point out some nice work by MS bloggers.