I’ve rediscovered Windows Live, and it’s not just a step above Yahoo IM (which sure wouldn’t be hard), it’s a step above Google, too. Now that is saying something.
Windows Live has gotten an overhaul. Your profile is now actually good for something… There’s been an integration of Windows Live, which has left it looking fantastic and offering some very useful free services, such as SkyDrive. SkyDrive gives Windows Live users the ability to share folders and files online, complete with permissions. The best thing about SkyDrive? The free 25 gigabytes! It would seem that Google has more or less abandoned it’s rumored “GDrive” attempt to keep pace. I probably don’t need to point out how lacking in file-sharing Google is. Anyone with a Gmail account knows exactly what I’m talking about.
The other thing that should get you taking a second look at Windows Live, is your profile is no longer just a profile, it is a social networking tool, with integration of all the popular services out there, such as Twitter, Last.fm and WordPress. In fact, personally I find it more attractive than Facebook. It’s sort of a Facebook light, without all the garbage and spam.
So, if you’ve been neglecting Windows Live, you might want to go back and have a second look. For the longest time, I’ve been a critic of Yahoo! Instant Messenger, but also a regular user. In that time Yahoo’s IM has sunk in popularity quicker than it’s arrogant CEOs (here’s lookin’ at you, Yang). Only with Yahoo have I used a service which literally got buggier and junkier with each version, and they sure did pump out those updates. 90% of my Yahoo contacts were Windows Live users, anyway, and the buggy integration between the two clients led to no updates on status messages, and display pictures never appearing, as well as my contacts not being able to see my online status correctly. I’ve more or less dumped everything Yahoo now, in fact. It’s never been a decision I have ever regretted.
Rarely have I seen Microsoft absolutely excel at offering a service over Google. Orkut never impressed me… Windows Live’s social network is much better visually, and practically. Skydrive is just the icing of the cake. It’s almost enough to make me consider using my Windows live account for email, too. Go take a look. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Any Windows Live fans out there? Anyone who, like myself, has ditched Yahoo for something better? Do you have other similar services to suggest? Comment below!