Windows Live Spaces Takes On MySpace
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Microsoft this week announced the launch of their Windows Live Spaces service. According to Microsoft, the Windows Live Spaces service offers “social networking features designed to help users discover and connect with friends through their trusted contacts and allows customers to personalize their Windows Live Spaces with gadgets.”

In other words, a direct run-up against MySpace.


According to Microsoft, Windows Live Spaces will allow users to “customize their site with blogs, photo albums, music lists and more.” Sound familiar?

And, like MySpace, “For those under age 18, the default setting in their Windows Live Spaces profile is that only people in the user’s Windows Live Messenger contact list can gain access to his or her space,” (although MySpace makes profiles private for those under 15. It may be interesting to see if this distinction makes any difference in the uptake.)

But perhaps the single most defining difference between Windows Live Spaces and MySpace (in a match where there seem to be not very many differences at all) is the Windows Live Gadgets.

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Gadgets are similar to the Widgets which Mac users have known and loved for a few years, and which are now owned by Yahoo. They are little applications which you can plop onto your screen and they just stay there, running and doing whatever it is they are supposed to do, ready for you whenever you want them.

But with the Windows Live Gadgets, they take it a step further – you can customize your Windows Live Space with the gadgets so that your visitors see them.

The Windows Live gadgets include the fairly standard and pedestrian things, such as a clock, a weather bug, and a sports score ticker. But there is also a hangman game, a sudoko assistant, a podcast player, and even a virtual opponent with whom to play rock, paper, scissors.

 

You can sign up to create your Windows Live Spaces space at the Windows Live Spaces website.

And you can view the Windows Spaces Live Gadgets here.

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