The Year Ahead: Windows Live in 2009

While 2008 took a decided turn for the worse economically, it actually was a pretty good year for Windows Live and Microsoft’s live services.  While Microsoft didn’t succeed in acquiring Yahoo! or its search business, the early part of the year was dominated by all the MSFT-YHOO dramaLive Mesh made its first official appearance, hinted at by Ray Ozzie at Mix in March, and then officially announced at Web 2.0 Expo in May. Windows Live ushered in a new era of social networking with Wave 3, and official word that Windows Live would replace built in Windows apps (Mail, Calendar, Movie Maker) in Windows 7 all made for some big Windows Live news.

Of course not all the news was good: a number of services were shut down, or slated to close (most notably Windows Live OneCare), a new version of Hotmail got off to a rocky start, Live Search failed to make any headway in search share, and Live Search cashback failed miserably on “Black Friday”, the biggest shopping day of the year.

With all that going on, 2009 still looks to be an even bigger year for Windows Live and its cousins Live Mesh, Live Search, and Windows Mobile.  We’ve enjoyed a bit of a holiday break here at LiveSide, but the new year is upon us, lots of news will be breaking soon (as early as next week, at CES), and we’re looking forward to bringing you the best in Windows Live news and information as we start our 4th year.  Just a note of thanks to all our readers, we hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of Windows Live as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing it to you.

In the next few days, we’ll take a look at each of these services we’ve been following to see what might lie ahead.  First up, Live Search.