The evolution of Windows Live Spaces

The evolution of Windows Live Spaces

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Now that the new generation of Windows Live web services has been released, some of you have asked me why we didn’t make any changes to Spaces. Although we did not make many noticeable changes to the service, I wanted to do a blog post about Spaces within the broader context of Windows Live and show how Spaces has had, and continues to have, a big influence on our overall direction.

Our fight against spam

Like many sites, Spaces, too, struggles with the never-ending battle against spam. Improving in this area was a big priority for us, in both Spaces and Hotmail. Our efforts here are already showing signs of success. For example, during the heaviest period of attacks on Spaces, a spam-tracking website called Uribl attributed 1500 spam campaigns to web pages hosted on Spaces, each of these actively generating hundreds of thousands of Spaces spam attacks. As of this writing, we have blocked 99% of these spam campaigns, so now Uribl lists only 15 active spam campaigns on Spaces, all of which are fresh attacks that we are actively working to disable. Very shortly, we will put even more safeguards in place to ensure that fewer spam spaces get created, which will bring this number down even more.

No more comment spam!

Comment spam has also been a persistent problem on Spaces. We are attacking this problem through heightened investment in account validation, limiting the number of comments you can add in a session, and improving permission settings so that by default, only friends can comment. All of these efforts combined make it harder for machine-generated comment spam to get through.

Setting comment permissions

Of course, you can still allow public comments on your space, but by default we limit who can comment on your space to just "friends." For most people, this default setting is going to make it easier to manage their spaces, but if you write a popular blog and still want public comments, be sure to go to your Profile page and then click Privacy settings. Click Advanced, (direct link here), and then you can change the permission slider for “Comments and notes” in the “Who can contact me” section near the bottom:

settings - who can contact me settings

Now that’s out of the way, we can continue with the fun stuff.

How Spaces has influenced Windows Live

Let’s start with a bit of history. The year was 2004. Blogging was just going mainstream, and users were beginning to explore creating their own personal websites and sharing digital photos on the web. We first launched “MSN Spaces” in Japan in late 2004 as a blogging service, and quickly built a small but loyal following. About 6 months later, we added photo sharing and launched Spaces in the US.

The “gleam”

The "gleam"

By the end of 2005, we'd connected Spaces to Messenger and introduced the “gleam,” a little orange asterisk in your Messenger contact list that let you know when your contacts had updated their space. This was the first time you could use Messenger to follow the online activities of your friends, an early ancestor to the new Messenger Social feed.

Blogging, sharing photos, and keeping up with your friends

Over the next few years, Spaces moved toward three important goals: Giving you an outlet for personal expression, giving you a place to share photos with friends and family, and giving you a way to keep up with what was going on with your closest friends. So now let’s fast forward to 2010 and take a look at today’s Windows Live, when these goals are still just as important, but are evolving to meet the demands of the new online world.

Serious bloggers

Connect to other services

Spaces continues to be a popular blogging service, but we also recognize that bloggers use a broad range of blog hosts. So we made sure that if you are a serious blogger on Spaces, WordPress.com, or other blogging services, Windows Live is a great companion to your blog.

Try the new Writer

Windows Live Writer is a fantastic blogging tool that lets you publish to almost any blogging service. You can preview your posts and get your photos and videos looking just the way you want them before you publish. With our plug-ins you can quickly embed video clips from YouTube or photos you already uploaded to Facebook. Try the new Writer beta today as part of the Windows Live Essentials beta.

Try the Windows Live Essentials beta

Connect your blog to Windows Live

Connecting your blog to Windows Live is like giving all your Messenger friends a subscription to your blog’s RSS feed. Every time you publish a new post, they will see a nice summary with a link to the post, right in Messenger. And connecting is easy to do. On the left side of the Profile page is a list of the services you have connected to Windows Live, and a link to connect new services. No matter where you host your blog, connecting it to Windows Live makes it better.

Personal expression for the rest of us

We saw that lots of people who had once used Spaces stopped using it, or used it only for photo albums. They liked the ability to show their family and their friends what they were up to, but didn’t want to have to keep updating it all the time. We needed a simpler way to share.

The move from blogging to just sharing

Although Spaces continues to be a popular blogging platform, fewer people are blogging in the traditional sense, and more people are just sharing. What do I mean? Most people don’t want to take time to configure a blog or don’t think they have enough to say to spend time writing and editing long posts (like this one!) but they do want to share short updates, photos, and cool links they come across on the web.

Your status message – now with photos and links!

Status message

We decided the best way to support sharing in our new release would be to deepen the ability to share via your Messenger status message. By adding the ability to share photos, Office documents, and links, we made it easier to share anything that’s on your mind. It gets even better when you connect Windows Live to Facebook since the things you share from Messenger show up there for all your friends to see and add their comments, even if they don’t use Windows Live. This works from Messenger, your phone (even from an iPhone), or Hotmail to give you simple, powerful sharing wherever your friends are. We also give you a very blog-like historical view of your status messages and other activities on the “Me” tab of the social feed in Windows Live Messenger beta (or by going to your Profile page on the web). For most users this is as much “blog” as they need.

Customization and personalization

The flexible nature of Spaces gave people a powerful way to express themselves through the use of themes, modules, and layouts. While some of you spent a great deal of time getting your space “just right,” many of you just wanted a simpler way to express yourselves. The Windows Live Profile service lets you pick a dynamic theme to express their personality and has become the central place on Windows Live to see information about someone, including their recent activity and the services they're connected to.

Photo sharing

Spaces provided the first photo sharing experience in Windows Live. Over half of all Spaces are used exclusively for photo sharing. Most of the people using Spaces this way wanted the ability to show photos to their family and friends but weren’t interested in other Spaces features.

Photos.live.com

Shared photo gallery

So, a couple of years ago, based on the high demand for photo sharing, we began to evolve the Spaces photo sharing feature into a first class Windows Live experience built on Windows Live SkyDrive. We launched photos.live.com in December 2008 and since then, customers have shared over 2.5 billion photos with each other on SkyDrive.

Photos everywhere

In our most recent release, we continued the momentum with more investment in photo sharing features: in Messenger (check out the photos tab!), and in Hotmail with Active View (the ability to view photo attachments right from your inbox – see Dick Craddock’s post), and a beautiful new immersive slide show in Skydrive with commenting, people tagging, and web Messenger (but that’s a blog post for another day). When you connect Windows Live to Facebook, you'll see all the photos shared with you, from Facebook or Windows Live, right in Messenger.

Keeping up with the people you care about

While the original Messenger “gleam” made it easy to see when someone had changed their space (the first Messenger Social integration), the newest version of Windows Live makes it easy to aggregate all of your activities across the web automatically. You connect Windows Live with the services where your closest friends do their sharing, whether it is photos on SmugMug or a blog on WordPress.com, and then use Messenger to keep up with what is going on with them. So now, instead of hinting at updates with “gleams,” we have brought all the information right into Messenger with the Messenger Social feed. Piero Sierra has written a great post on this.

Looking ahead

Spaces continues to impact the direction of Windows Live. We will continue to look at how you use Spaces, as well as how you share online in general and on Windows Live, so that we can keep improving your core experiences on Windows Live.

Tony East, Senior Lead Program Manager, Windows Live

36 Comments
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  • For those who want to give Posterous a try, we've just enabled a way to import your blog content to Posterous.  Unfortunately, we can only copy over your 20 most recent posts, but hopefully that is enough for you to take Posterous for a spin.   You can try it at posterous.com/.../windowslivespaces

  • eboy
    15 Posts

    Dear Microsoft,

    Are you reading these posts ? because I feel like people are blowing horn to deaf ear.

    The problem is not with the developers. The developers can do any task given to them. It is the manager/management. I am sure developers will be reading our posts and having fun. There should be also a developer with the guts to face the management. Please bring these posts and in your meetings. Atleast a team of developers can get out of Microsoft and start your own company. Don't waste you skills because of an inefficient manager. Stop working like business minded and start thinking like kids.

    Tips:

    While developing something, talk to a 5 year old. Give the kid a problem (in a playful manner), it will give the best solution. Because it has a fresh brain and it will be innovative and people will like it (even if it is simple ).

    I feel I can manage your live team to give a good release in 2 months time with the man power of MS. Stop digging your own grave.

  • Just shut down Live Spaces. You had years to develop or add new features... now it's way too late. Let the Live spaces team (Is that still existing?) work on Hotmail ... and everyone is happy :)

  • HeinrichP
    18 Posts

    I looove the new full session SSL feature you write about, because it was MEE who suggsted it: windowsteamblog.com/.../hotmail-respects-your-inbox.aspx

    Read it further, as I have more suggestions from inside the bug-feedback. Also read Paulo Ricardo Stradioti's feedback-bug on the same site right under my post.

  • Well Mr. East you by now have an earful from many of my Windows Live friends with a deep concern for the future of Microsoft.

    Many of us have been with this service since the beta days and some work diligently to maintain our WL Spaces

    ie: My own at  techbuyer.spaces.live.com  where we share information regarding Microsoft with over 20 SMB's and a sizable number of our student clients seeking information.  I should like to report that by removing my "guestbook" panel, a few older blog posts and several tweeks provided of late to security settings I have eliminated all spam. Thank you!

    Please consider all above posts here with due diligense as many of us do not choose to use outside services such as  Facebook and Twitter due to security concerns.  "Are you really Listening?"

  • adacosta
    91 Posts

    What are you doing to get rid of existing Spam comments that have posted? I have old blog entries with up to 275 spam comments. Seriously, I am not going to wade through that and delete/report each one of them. You need to create some form of a crawler and delete/report them for me.

  • I agree with the commentators here. Microsoft has no clear and consistent policy as to what it wants to do with their web services. It changes it's policies, programs, features, etc. as often as we change our ***********.

  • Well, regarding hotmail:

    1) If you want us to use it in a more serious way, please give the option to add multiple signature...Gmail has it in the way of 'canned responses' as it's lab feature.

    2) If you want us to use it in a more serious way, please give the option to insert pictures (from ou computer) within an email...Gmail (as well as AOL) has this as it's lab feature.

    These two are the most important features which are missing currently in Hotmail and without these (and many others) hotmail will continue to lose ground to gmail.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a big proponent of Microsoft but you people are just concentrating on a 'not-even-required' feature of making people social but clogging our emails with useless updates from our contacts. Just look at Yahoo, it has made a mess of it's email and lost the race completely.  Concentrate on what is important...give features rather than messing up your and importantly ours (specially my) mind with useless updates. Take a leaf out of gmail's book...if Gmail removed it's 'conversation view' mode you people would be running for your jobs right now.

  • I'm sure it's pure coincidence, but I see that now that Microsoft has stripped statistics out of Windows Live Spaces, Blogger has just introduced <a href="bloggerindraft.blogspot.com/.../introducing-blogger-stats.html">integrated statistics</a>. Some companies have their finger on the pulse.

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    *sighs*

    One of the reasons I was anticipating Wave 4 so badly, was because I thought they would update Spaces.

    Oh well...

  • remain
    9 Posts

    @ Maskil and Thom

    On any Windows Live page (barring Hotmail if you don't have the new version yet), hover the mouse over your name on the top right corner.

    You'll be able to choose from the 8 'featured' themes.

    You can also click on "More themes" to go to the aforementioned Themes page.

  • Thom
    31 Posts

    @Maskil I spent ages trying to find these, it certainly isn't as simple as it used to be. If you go to home.live.com/.../themes you can choose a new theme.

    However, there are no new dynamic themes, the only new ones are copies of the Windows 7 wallpapers. Hardly "representative of my personality" :(

  • Maskil
    1 Posts

    You said “The Windows Live Profile service lets you pick a dynamic theme to express their personality...”

    This is new to me.  Where do we find the settings for choosing this theme?

  • Good Step,but we need new gadgets and new themes,to compete with others bloggers.

  • @Alimaggs -

    "Ditch the lists"? Er, no, please no. I'm one of those ornery users who just wants a useful blogging platform. I really don't use all this social messenger stuff and I would like my blog to be complete of itself, not force users to hop around into other environments.

    But then again, all this is moot for me now. I've stopped blogging on Windows Live Spaces and moved to Blogger. And I don't feel I've jumped, but that I was pushed.

  • As can be seen by the comments, you should have named this "The retrogression of Windows Live Spaces.. :)

  • Alimaggs
    22 Posts

    It's a shame MS have hidden Spaces away so badly. With the new social graph in Windows Live 4, spaces would be a perfect way to be able to share (longer) thoughts and ideas, and for your friends to comment on and share with their friends. I think it's a great service, but yeah, it's pretty much invisible to Windows Live members now.

    Ditch the themes, tie it to our universal themes that extend out through the rest of Windows Live, and turn it into a blogging area, like Tumblr... Bring in some standards, ditch the "lists", etc (We have favourites on our profiles, why duplicate... Same goes for the guest book really), and turn it into something that compliments the sharing methodology behind Wave 4. Bring in the new Messenger share badges.... It could really be quite amazing.

    I certainly wouldn't kill Spaces off - its USP should be the social graph attached to blogging there. But, yes, it needs attention, badly.

  • Robban
    2 Posts

    I´m blogging a lot and I think there is three things Spaces need to improve to be successful:

    A simple web interface that let you easily write new posts, upload photos from both pc and a mobile phone

    Privacy Control: The Live ID is very useful, because it keeps all you internet activity and accounts in one place and you get a free blog! Thanks to the Windows Live network you can choose to share the posts only with your friends and family which is good. But if you want to have an open blog and be an anonymous blogger you can´t! Your blogging profile info and name is created from your Windows Live ID profile and the name usually your first and last name. I hope to see a feature that let you make your own blogging profile with the name and picture you choose. It should not contain any links to your Live profile, only a link that let readers of the blog send friend invites or personal messages to the one who owns the blog.

    Personal design: I like the modules, they make the rearrange of the blog very easy! But Spaces need more text formatting options, more ways to customize the design and make it personal with own pictures. There could be a theme gallery where users could upload their own themes that others could use and download. Remember a blog is like your own diary :D

  • @ JohnCz - Very interesting idea. I hadn't thought about integrating Spaces with Groups, although I agree it would be a unique way to facilitate multi-author blogs. The old Events page used to pull in a bit of Spaces and a bit of Groups into one portal like that. Of course, it would also mean opening up said groups (or at least the blog portion thereof) to the public at-large. At present, only the group's welcome/request and invitation page is public to non-members.

    I'd also wondered about whether the WL blog could somehow be moved into SkyDrive or Office Web Apps. Just imagine using the Word Web App as your online blog post editor!

    I also agree that it'd be neat to allow multiple blogs per Live ID, although if the existing keyword tagging were improved, a single blog could be easily filtered to accommodate multiple subjects. I've been mixing my personal and geeky posts for years, and they seem to co-exist quite nicely.

    And to me, using the Profile page as the single portal to your WL Blog actually makes a lot of sense, because that page provides a broader view of "who you are" in the context of all your activities. Let me put it this way, if Windows Live was a mall, then your blog would be like the Gap, and your Profile page would be that big ass map at the front door that points you to it, along with all the other stores. I think it might be nice if the Profile page were given a few modest customization capabilities besides just the header wallpaper, so that users would feel like they could make the page their own.

  • JohnCz
    204 Posts

    Regarding the above suggestion, Office Live Small Business relies on Live Spaces for blogs...so some changes would be needed to reference the new blogging location.  Again, I think Live Groups would be a great place for blogging.  Another benefit I forgot to mention, it would also allow you to create separate groups/blogs for your User ID.  Something you can't do today with Spaces.  You may not want your Group/Blog related to Fine Wine mixed in with your Group/Blog about Tech Gadgets.

  • JohnCz
    204 Posts

    @GregEdwards, fantastic response...

    "I think Windows Live needs to strip down Spaces to just a blog, which should be more tightly integrated into the rest of the experience. Let the Profile page take over as your public facing page on Windows Live (and give it a vanity URL), fold custom lists into Favorite Things on the Profile page, let Profile Notes replace the Guestbook, and focus on really improving the blogging features of Spaces. Bring it up to the level of Wordpress or Blogger, with more formatting choices, extended entries, multiple keywords, etc. It's time for the current incarnation of Spaces to gracefully retire."

    My only critique of your statement is that I'm not sure I want to be visiting a person's profile just to read a blog.  I think it would make more sense move blogging into Live Groups.  That way you can have multiple contributers to a blog.  Your profile page would then reflect just your posts.  Live Groups already have vanity URLs.  I agree with you with some of the baseline blog capabilities.  I'd also like to see better capability to embed video that was uploaded to SkyDrive.  I think the current SkyDrive video player just downloads video..it really should support streaming.

  • Add another vote in agreement with previous commenters.

    Since Wave3 Microsoft has been moving Live Spaces further and further into the background.  First by moving it under the "More" link in the main menu of Windows Live.  Now, it's not even on the main menu, but it's one small link on the profile page.   I wrote on my own Windows Live Spaces blog, back after the release of Wave3 and lamented Microsofts position of removing the main point of entry for one's "digital life" from Live Spaces to the generic profile page.  I wrote, that what made Live Spaces unique among all other competitors was that the user could make the Live Spaces page function in whatever capacity they wanted it.  If they wanted a simple profile page, they could use only the modules that had profile-centric stuff.  If a user wanted to only show off their photography, they could simply have the photo gallery related modules.  If they wanted a blog, they could have just a blog.  Or just their social network.  Problem was, that Microsoft never made any effort to show users and potential users the ways in which the service could be used.  They simply put the product out and said, "here."  Can't tell you the number of people that I've shown different Windows Live services to and they've said, "Oh, I didn't know it could do that!"

    Secondly, I agree with the other commenters about using your own products.  So Microsoft has abandoned Windows Live Spaces for their product blogs, why?  because they don't fulfill your needs, or difficult to manage, problems with comment spam.  So product blogs get abandoned, or moved to other blogging services instead of fixing the issues that made it a difficult service to use.  What does that say about Microsoft's commitment to Live Spaces?  "We don't like it, won't use it, won't fix it,  but our users should," ??  And I don't buy into your statement that "less people are blogging".  Is that perhaps the reason that news outlets all across the country are moving to a blog model? (SeattlePI.com for example, or ZDNet, and countless dozens of others all of which get HUGE traffic).  Perhaps it's just because Microsoft doesn't give heavy bloggers enough tools or controls which make other services more attractive over Windows Live.  

    I only hope that when Microsoft decides that Spaces isn't relevant anymore and decides to shut it down (I predict by Wave5), they give us a way to export our six years worth of blog postings and information.  I've been on Live Spaces since the very day that MSN Spaces was released and I have a ton of stuff on here.  

    Oh, and by the way....thank you for making me sign up for ***yet another login*** to comment on this blog instead of using Windows Live ID.  So now, I have to use different logins for Channel9, On10, Here at this blog, Connect, etc etc etc.  Thought Windows Live ID was the last login ID anyone would ever need?  Thought that's how Microsoft was telling us a few years back.

  • Thom
    31 Posts

    I think you should re-title this article "The devolution of Windows Live Spaces"

    You can see by the lengthy comments on this post that people are deeply saddened by the lack of progress on Live Spaces. I agree wholeheartedly with all their comments, especially with the comment improvements and the bizarre removal of the statistics page, which was poor but better than nothing!

    I was dreaming that wave 4 would breath some life back into Spaces. I presumed it was naturally going to become a "blog" page on one's Live profile; stripping out the bloat and streamlining with the look and feel of the rest of Windows Live. It seems such a natural fit to connect Spaces into the Social side of wave 4. I would have liked all my links that I shared to go to my space as an extension to my blog as part of my stream. I wanted to see great statistics on my articles and not be embarrassed about giving out my URL

    People love Live Writer and it's got even better in wave4, surely your own blogging platform, as the default suggestion, should live up to the quality offered by the rest of its family?

    Either ditch it as the embarrassment it has become or get it up to modern standards quick (think posterous, tumblr & wordpress). I would have jumped ship to Wordpress last year but it seems you have tangled all my high-ranking/most commented articles in a prison from which no other services can extract.

  • This pretty much confirms what I've been saying about Spaces for the past year or so (to the chagrin of folks like Technogran). Spaces has been a great platform, but its time in the sun is over. I'm an avid Windows Live blogger and I love Spaces, but it's just too much work for a typical user, and in it's current state, it just looks an outdated annex of the modern Windows Live. People don't want to spend hours tinkering with widgets to create a custom page that just ends up looking cluttered and garish (dare I say, Geocities-esque).

    The wave 3/wave 4 enhancements added plenty of social functionality via web services, SkyDrive, Photos, and the Home/Profile pages. Just about the only thing unique about Spaces anymore is the Blog module, and those updates pull gracefully into your Messenger Social feed. So it's not surprising to me that few people bother visiting each other's actual Spaces main page these days.

    I think Windows Live needs to strip down Spaces to just a blog, which should be more tightly integrated into the rest of the experience. Let the Profile page take over as your public facing page on Windows Live (and give it a vanity URL), fold custom lists into Favorite Things on the Profile page, let Profile Notes replace the Guestbook, and focus on really improving the blogging features of Spaces. Bring it up to the level of Wordpress or Blogger, with more formatting choices, extended entries, multiple keywords, etc. It's time for the current incarnation of Spaces to gracefully retire.

    And I totally agree with Alimaggs (and I think we're actually saying a lot of the same things) that you should ditch the kitschy Spaces themes and integrate the global Windows Live themes, so my space has a uniform look and feel with the rest of my public-facing Windows Live pages.

    Hopefully, we won't have to wait another 18 months for wave 5 for all this to play out. Great post.

  • Alimaggs
    22 Posts

    I'm with the others on this.  I use Spaces for blogging because it's quick, and easy and I like the way Spaces integrates with my contacts and the rest of Windows Live (it was why I moved to Spaces from Blogger a few years back).

    I really wish you guys would evolve the platform somewhat and, certainly, putting Spaces back on the dropdown menu (somewhere!) would be a nice start - I don't see any decent way of Spaces surviving (let alone growing) when people struggle to even find it!

    Look at how Tumblr or similar services work.  Combining that with my Messenger contact social graph could be powerful.  Perhaps the new Messenger Connect stuff (Sharing badges by default) would be nice...  And automatic sharing to Facebook (as per photo albums in Wave 4).

    I wouldn't even be upset AT ALL if you ditched all of the existing themes (and matched the look of my Space to my global Windows Live theme) and Windows Live Spaces just became about pure "blogging" (a way of sharing thoughts or ideas that don't fit into or are too lengthy for the existing "share/status message" idea).  At least it would serve a purpose.

    It's just a shame that, with all the advancements on Wave 4, that Spaces has been well and truly left behind.  It could have been a very powerful system with all of the other advancements in Wave 4.

  • Agree with the dogfooding part. If the folks at Microsoft don't think it is good enough for their own blogs, it is hard to take the platform seriously.

    I've moved to Tumblr and never looked back.

  • eboy
    15 Posts

    Literally I want to cry. I am a die hard fan of Micrsoft products. I know the potential of MS. But why this poor perfomance? Don't MS read any news online? Do they hear any comments from users? Why such a stubborn growth?

    I have a good tutorial blog in live spaces. Unfortunatley no one can make comments. Because they need to log into Live ID to make a comment. And FYI MS, Live is not the same speed all over the world because of the ISP (not MS). So people don't login and no feeedback. That is a sad news.

    The statistics page is removed. So i dono how many people are visiting my posts.

    MS rarely brings in some new look/feauters and remove useful tools. And making each change is like once a millenium event? Why so late? World is so fast. Things are changing. Once people settle in a comfort zone, they won't change.

    Look at softwares made by small teams/companies. They are working at mind blowing speed with new relases. Why can't MS with all the human resource do something good? Why this lag? Slow? I can realize the power of Live network. But why is it looking dead?

    My dear MS people. Please consider this post and please act fast. Don't remove valuable resources and tools. Also sometimes to attract crowd you have to be a little liberal. Allow people from outside to post comments in our blog. Too bad, even Bing is unable to track my post based on hit points. This is dissapointing.

  • JohnCz
    204 Posts

    @juan, re: joining Live IDs....I think you are talking about Linked IDs.  To do that, click on your name (top right of page) and select Account in the dropdown menu.  Scroll down the page and select Linked IDs.  You can add/remove IDs here.

  • thljcl
    7 Posts

    As the web standard changes over time, I hope Microsoft will keep on updating Windows Live Spaces to meet these changes. Yes, I agree that spam is a serious issue. I've seen many blogs in Windows Live Spaces have been flooded with spams. However, SPAM is not the only issue. It's important to see how Microosft makes Windows Live Spaces more interactive. After all, the future of web is going to enable more interactions, isn't it? I still use Windows Live Spaces as my main blog host. But it doesn't work in all web browsers. Google Chrome and Apple Safari do not display the web pages as they are supposed to be. I just hope Microsoft will never kill Windows Live Spaces.

  • Everything is ok!

    but at this time Windows live , doesn't allow you to change or join your live Ids... #FAIL

  • We who use Windows Live and have always viewed  it as a blogging platform  are very disappointed with  the lack of interest shown since the Wave 3 updates in Spaces. I remember a time sir, when all the live teams blogged on Spaces, now you all use this site. Many of us don't like making friends with users simply by seeing a 'one line' update or at best a sentence. Nor do we want to have to shift over to Wordpress or Blogger in order to share our stories and tales.  

    In the days before Wave 3, you had a unique blogging site in Windows Live, where we could easily see on the one page other users blog posts, go off and read them, and then if we liked what we saw they became a friend and I maintain its only by reading someone's blog post that you can truly make up your mind about that person.

    Since Wave 3, Spaces will not have been used as much simply because you 'hid it away' behind the MORE tab where anyone new to Windows Live could be forgiven for not even realising they could create a blog or have their own page on Windows Live as it was so hard to find.   If those who have always viewed Windows Live as a blogging site take off somewhere else because of your neglect in this area, then why do you surmise that they will remain on Windows Live using the rest of the site?

    Certainly in my own network and yes, its only a small number of users, but I could argue that its a 'snapshot' of average users of the site, most are leaving to go to MySpace, Wordpress or Blogger simply because they are fed up of the sad demise of Spaces.

    You had something unique in Spaces on Windows Live and its not as if blogging is going out of fashion, why I am commenting now on one!  Everyone blogs and the latest usage of just one blogging site such as Wordpress.com which recently published that in the last month alone there were over 200.000.000 posts proves that its not a dying art.

    It's such a shame because Windows Live Spaces offered something that the other blogging sites don't. The ability to easily find other bloggers on Windows Live with the same likes, dislikes, age, interests  as yourself, and therein you became a complete blogging community.

    I am so sad about it all.

    TG

  • C'mon Microsoft, shut the Live Spaces down . There is a lot of other plataforms which are better in so many ways. I don't know why you keep pushing the Live Spaces and wasting your money and datacenters with this service.

  • And, I might add, it has not gone unnoticed that all the Microsoft blogs that used to be hosted on Windows Live Spaces are now closed, and the blogs, such as this one, have been moved over to being hosted on Telligent technology. That leads me to the obvious conclusion that even Microsoft clearly have no confidence in WLS.

    Whatever happened to Microsoft's once proud boast that they ate their own dogfood?

  • Mr. East, you say: "Although we did not make many noticeable changes to the service..."

    Er, what? You have removed the statistics facility from Spaces, thus effectively killing it as a worthwhile blogging platform. You, sir, are being disingenuous at best.

  • I agree with Kit. Live Spaces is a nice feature but it has to be implemented better in order to offer professional bloggers the choice for this platform.

    I mean a wider possibility of theming/skinning, a more open module gallery to add and so on.

  • Kit
    23 Posts

    To be honest, wave 4 makes me feel that Microsoft is going to phrase out spaces sooner or later... because I fail to understand why it doesn't desire to have a link on the wave 4 drop down menu.

    Back in 2004 and 2005 there were a lot more buzz back then than now thanks to the innovative features (at that time) available to users, until today it is still lacking the ability to search for a blog post which is built right into the platform. I also dislike the fact that I can't remove from the skydrive public search and the fact everyone is now opted in without consent, more over it the new search feature defaults searching everyone's public items which I don't understand why is it not default to search my own documents.

    I personally met some friends over Live Spaces who we still chat frequently over messenger, but the extensions and features which WordPress offers are way more superior today and the lack of acute response to spam comments and trackbacks frustrates lots of dedicated users. The lack of independent developers / gadgets on which works with spaces on Windows Live Gallery (which still stuck in wave 2) was responsible as well.

    I hope that Microsoft give Live Spaces a bit more respect and maybe just add all of the services to the drop down menu, cos being honest there ain't that many services and it shouldn't require me to go to another page just click on another link for the sake of jumping to other services it's not fixing the problem, just hiding the clutter like the office time admitted what they have done in the previous versions.

    I really love the features that Windows Live is offering to its users, but the lack of "I'm in control" feeling in the UX design is turning people away who wants a dead simple interface yet as smart as facebook.