Well, this is a bit of a surprise. The Windows Team have recently blogged that they’ve given developers access to tools so they can integrate Windows Live on several mobile platforms – one of them being Android.
For those not familiar with it, Windows Live is Microsoft’s own internet suite of tools. If you’ve got an old Hotmail account somewhere, then you’ll probably be able to use it, along with Messenger and SkyDrive. It’s looking to be a seamless integration with an easy-to-use interface. All you need to do is sign-up once and then you can have access to your Live account and have it accessed by third-party apps.
The big question here is why is Microsoft doing this? All of Live’s capabilities are easily duplicated by Google. A simple Gmail account put on your fingertips more tools than the really limited Live platform. A lot of people have stopped using it altogether. It would be understandable if it worked only on Windows Phone 7 devices but including Android and iOS is a bit of a head scratcher.
The only advantage for Microsoft here is to retain a lot of their basic users. Although it may seem a bit strange, a lot of people still use the basic Live platform – mostly because that’s what they are used to. They’re not exactly aiming to get more users for their devices but angling for a lot of old users to be comfortable – no matter what platform they maybe using.
Still, it would have been better to throw in a few improvements here and there.