Microsoft, the world's largest computer software maker, has launched the second generation of Windows Live services, a lineup of online service tools such as e-mail, photo sharing and Internet phone services.
For the first time, users will be able to access and download all available Windows Live services from the Windows Live dashboard online. Previously, users would have to search the Web for specific product betas.
Microsoft is planning a marketing campaign for its online properties that it expects to reach an audience of 10 billion on the Web over the next two months. Windows Live is the brand name for a set of Web-based services and applications that Microsoft hopes will enable it to sell online advertising to compete with Google.
Windows Live is divided into two sets: online services such as Windows Live Hotmail, and applications that users install on their PCs, such as Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Photo Gallery. A complete list of offerings that are available in full release now can be found on the Windows Live home page.
Two services will remain in beta and will be released in final versions later. These are Windows Live Skydrive, an online file-storage service, and Windows Live Calendar.
Microsoft will continue to release new Windows Live services in beta form over the next year as it does quarterly updates to its current round of services.