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Windows Live Goes to College 330

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the captive-audiences-101 dept.
Tobias writes "BetaNews is reporting that Microsoft has struck a deal with 72 different colleges to use Windows Live for their email services. The problem with this is that Windows Live does not support any browsers besides IE 6, does not support POP or IMAP, and does not support email forwarding." From the article: "The Redmond company believes that catching the students early on will turn them into life-long users of Windows Live. They would likely create a Windows Live Messenger account, start a blog and organize their favorites under this e-mail account -- especially if they plan to continue using it, Microsoft says."
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Windows Live Goes to College

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  • by crazyjeremy (857410) * on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:27AM (#15195017) Homepage Journal
    Wait, wait... You man Microsoft is trying to MAKE people do things a new way... their way... a proprietary way which demands a complete change of hardware & software and includes an entirely new interface?

    Can they do that?

    From the article:

    "But although there has been a rapid uptake of the service, the company says it still meets resistance and skepticism. In return, Microsoft has been assuring education institutions that its only motivation is to get students using Windows Live, promising there are no ulterior plans."

    • I can't imagine why Windows Live isn't reason enough. It's an opportunity to lock in a vast swath of people who are more likely to stay with Windows Live, whether they particularly like it or not. Microsoft would have to be retarded not to do this. Do I want it to happen at my school? No.
    • How much does this "upgrade" cost? They are pushing Hotmail to colleges. . . TFA says there are no ads while the student is in school, but MS may turn them on afterword. I really don't see the point.

      Hopefully this will die quietly, like BOB did.
    • Hah. I don't get the fact they are trying to "Catch them early on." I mean, isn't Windows running in most early school systems anyway? I find that this is a better way to catch them early on than getting them while they are in their 20s in college. I would much rather remember to use it because of how easy it was in school than college just because things were so much easier to figure out there.
      • At least in my experience, college is when a fair number of people experiment with OSes other than Windows; I've met a few people recently who seem to have had their first exposure to Linux in college or university, because they tend to be institutions large enough to support a more varied computer culture than high schools. (And also at some larger Unis there is still vestiges of a 'UNIX culture' tradition that predates Microsoft.)

        It seems more like MS wants to solidify its hold on people that it probably
  • how long... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:31AM (#15195025) Homepage
    until they slip some cash to some people who then make it a mandatory part of the "college experience". Reminds me of the tobacco companies, "hook 'em while they're young".
    • Re:how long... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NemosomeN (670035) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:36AM (#15195041) Journal
      It already will be. I'm attending Uni in Mississippi, and we are required to check our email daily. I imagine this policy is common elsewhere.
      • How can they tell if you're checking your email via the proper IE6 + "Windows Live" combination, or using fetchmail (or a perl script) to forward your mail to your gmail account? I suppose the university could force you to use your "windows" mail account (although every university typically has their own dinosaur mail system -- mine was on a VAX/VMS cluster), but they can't really force you to read it via Microsoft.

        Email is SMTP... anything else is GUI fluff, and should be interchangable.
        • You could at least have read the /. preview ;)

          Windows Live does not support any browsers besides IE 6, does not support POP or IMAP
        • Re:how long... (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kadin2048 (468275)
          Email is SMTP... anything else is GUI fluff, and should be interchangable.

          You forget, this is Microsoft that we're talking about; they're not going to let you get near anything that's open, easily understood, and platform-independent, like SMTP. All you have access to in Windows Live is a browser-based webmail service, one that's written so that you can only access it with IE.

          I expect that all the backend stuff, the actual mailservers, are all owned by Microsoft (this would be the advantage to the schools -
      • 1.) Write a shell script that polls the site, downloads all new mails and sends them to a real email account/puts them into your mbox
        2.) Tell cron to execute the script daily
        3.) Rejoice as you don't have to deal with the thing anymore, except for the occasional script update when the site layout changes



        6.) Add obligatory "PROFIT!!" meme here
      • I work in a large (many say prestigious) hospital where they use Windows 2K terminals to access patient records, labs, X-rays, page doctors, order tests, etc. These are not only mission critical functions, but potentially life critical. Every time a decent worm/virus rolls around, the computer system become unusable and we are left in the dark so to speak (take this in to account the next time you write a worm you damn script kiddies). It is truly scary when this happens because the backup systems are paper
  • by figleaf (672550) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:32AM (#15195027) Homepage
    I am not sure were that IE6 only blurb came from.
    • by Edward Scissorhands (665444) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @04:22AM (#15195151)
      No, IT DOES NOT WORK ON FIREFOX. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but the functionality on Firefox is limited. When you access Windows Live Mail Beta on Firefox you are getting absolutely NO ajax-style features. There is no preview pane. There is no interactivity whatsoever. There is even a bolded error message telling you that you are in "Hotmail Classic" mode which is even less featured than the old Hotmail interface. The bolded message suggests that you navigate to the "options" menu and turn on the full interactive Live Beta experience. You can do that in Firefox, but NOTHING HAPPENS and you will be greeted with the same bolded message whenever you look at your inbox. It tells you that you need to be using IE to fully use Live. It's completely unusable without ANY javascript functionality, you know.

      It doesn't work. Microsoft is dragging their feet on Firefox support because, once again, their programmers do not know how to write to standards. Either that, or their managers are telling the programmers to wait on implementing a "workaround" for non-IE browers.

      My guess though is that it's the former-- Microsoft simply doesn't hire employees that know or care about web standards. These guys are probably just learning about Firefox and the DOM as they go. They've only ever written to Microsoft's own JavaScript extensions.

      In other words, they are incompetent.
  • Ok (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NitsujTPU (19263) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:33AM (#15195032)
    Windows Live does not support any browsers besides IE 6, does not support POP or IMAP

    So, why did they do this? This mail service sounds like garbage (no offense MS). I can't use any standard email client with it.
    • Re:Ok (Score:4, Funny)

      by Jesus_666 (702802) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @05:17AM (#15195255)
      I can't use any standard email client with it.

      I think that was one of the design goals.
    • by morie (227571)
      This mail service sounds like garbage (no offense MS).

      You must be new here
    • Re:Ok (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FirienFirien (857374) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:14AM (#15195373) Homepage
      They did it to lock people in. The entire model locks people in, as mentioned in the summary - the email does not allow you to access them with third-party clients, and does not allow you to get the mails anywhere where you can access them with third-party clients, unless you do it manually for every single mail you get.

      The entire thing will be a serious pain in the ass for anyone with even mediocre IT savvy; the people who are used to using a web client will have no problems and are the easy audience for MS here (with MS hoping to use the structure of Windows Live to keep them as clients when they leave, since then they keep all their contacts etc); and the setup also forces the rest of the students - those who would prefer to do things in any of a variety of other ways - to stoop to using their system. MS are effectively pulling in a pile of easy targets, and then putting a big wall around the hard targets so they are stuck whether they like it or not. As seen in a good thread above, the common language means it does function in FF, but breaks its major featureset. Anyone in firefox will be stuck with a closed interface, and you won't find bets against that improving in a hurry, because it would be a door in that big wall MS are setting up.

      Whether or not they're losing lockin elsewhere, they've jumped on the opportunity to get a new generation before that generation gets savvy enough to get up in arms about what's being done to them. Sure, there'll be a few, but not enough until someone writes an interface that shapes packets to enable automation of the features that MS are intentionally leaving out.

      IMAP has been around for 20 years; POP3 for 12. The longevity and widespread use of these protocols is vast in terms of the internet and email; 20 years is a vast timespan for this arena. Yet MS have designed something that prevents both. I have no idea how long automatic email forwarding has been around for, but again it's something that MS have left out.

      When I saw the summary on the front page, I saw it was tagged 'monopoly'. I initially dismissed that, because I thought that with email you can't get a monopoly so the tag was irrelevant in this case. But when you force, force, force people to use your system with no way of connecting it up to their other systems, and use the weight of an educational institution to enable that lockin, then it is indeed a monopoly. They're not getting any money from it yet (I very much hope an institution wouldn't pay for this system) so the traditional connotations of 'monopoly' aren't there yet - but they're forcing people in while and where they can't do anything about it. Keep the number of people, they'll get their profits, whether it's in systems required to be able to use their services or something further down the line for Windows Live.
  • by Chicane-UK (455253) <chicane-uk@ntl w o rld.com> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:36AM (#15195040) Homepage
    And the one that Microsoft just can never seem to grasp, and probably the reason why so many people just don't want anything to do with them, is that there always has to be a hook.

    Some might argue that Google have a hidden agenda (and no-one has quite worked out what that is yet) but with their offerings such as their GMail for Businesses, regular GMail, Calendar, etc there isn't a 'hook' - its just there. You use it, you don't - You like it, you don't - so what.

    With Microsoft its always something like "We want to get people to be lifelong users" or "We reserve the right to turn on adverts when people graduate" - there is always a caveat or other reason rather than "This is a damn good product - we think it will sell itself".

    I can't wait to be rid of Windows at home and just be done with Microsoft.
    • by shawb (16347) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @04:06AM (#15195108)
      By so many people, you mean the part that aren't in the approximately ninety percent that almost exclusively use Microsoft products? People really don't care. Look how the DMCA and P Patriot Act passed in The States without a bloody revolution or two.
      • by twitter (104583) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @09:50AM (#15196146) Homepage Journal
        By so many people, you mean the part that aren't in the approximately ninety percent that almost exclusively use Microsoft products?

        The Microsoft platform monopoly is very weak right now. Any web application designed for a single version of M$ will fail for about half of your users. While they still have sizable majority of OS use, you can't count on a specific version being present. When you permutate that with browser used, your numbers fall even more.

        Less than 60% of people use IE 6 [w3schools.com]. That means about two in five people will not be able to use this stupid service.

        Even M$ OS share is slipping. XP, the "dominant" platform only has 79% of the market. If you take out what people use at work, the Linux + Mac percentage is probably better than 10% now.

        So, while IE 6 is "available" to a majority of users, 25% prefer something else. In short, they care.

        If your school cares, they won't be using this service.

    • Some might argue that Google have a hidden agenda (and no-one has quite worked out what that is yet)

      Nope, it's pretty clear they crawl the user mail to affect pagerank. A page that is talked about a lot in the mail is likely to be more important than others, so it goes up for given (Subject:) keywords.

      (of course they are also using the data to for building (teaching) a superior AI which is to take over the world on their behalf, but that's just a rumor).
      • Nope, it's pretty clear they crawl the user mail to affect pagerank. A page that is talked about a lot in the mail is likely to be more important than others, so it goes up for given (Subject:) keywords.

        How is it pretty clear? Do you actually have any evidence to back up your assertion? Am I missing something here?
        • I don't have links to the articles, saw it pretty long time ago (did some research where's the catch for free uncrippled pop3 when creating my account), but that's the general plan. Last I checked it was just that, a plan, something they intended to start in some nondescript future, but they didn't actually do it, just using adsense with webmail interface and no profitable activity at all with pop3. I don't know how it works now.
    • (and no-one has quite worked out what that is yet)
      Couldn't be the $8 zillion dollars in advertising revenues, could it?

      It's *always* about the money - an imaginable side-effect of living in a capitalist society.

    • Both Windows Live and Google have the same strategy. The only difference is that Microsoft's dumb enough to tell it to people.
  • by kitkatsavvy (921998) <kitkatsavvy@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:38AM (#15195046) Homepage
    I signed up to use the hotmail live beta, and it takes FOREVER to reload the screen.. gmail refreshes just about instantly..

    Also, I can't even see my folders - after using hotmail live for about a minute, the folders section is reduced to about 1mm in size.... also, when you are reading EVERY email, there is an AD right next to the email reading window - and so you are forced to read that stupid ad with every email that you read...

    msn/hotmail live SUX! they are just trying badly to copy gmail! maybe their servers are clogged up or something to explain the bad refresh speed...
  • The thing is... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nugneant (553683) <c45kyew02@sneake ... om minus painter> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:39AM (#15195049) Homepage Journal
    ...any college that would sign this sort of exclusivity deal probably doesn't have much in the way of, oh, how shall we say, a progressive-minded fast-paced cutting-edge technological studies / computer science department - by which I mean that this list of 72 colleges (which I don't believe was published - I skimmed TFA) is more likely to be "Ben Doke's Midtown College of Applied Farm Machineary" and "Oral Roberts God Fearing U" and 70 other semi-community colleges than it is "M.I.T." and "UC-Berkeley" and other notable names from the Ivy League and Division I-A - and students who'd attend the sort of college that would sign a deal as stupid and moronic as this are probably the sorts who'll be happily locked into Windows anyway, for the rest of the foreseeable future. Or the mildly sociopathic types who'll get a perverse thrill out of signing up for distance learning Web CT classes, then informing the instructor that they won't be able to check their validated campus email because they run Linux ;)

    So, uh, all hype, and it's sorta nerdy - but does it matter?
    • Re:The thing is... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:58AM (#15195092)
      The problem is, even if the school does have "progressive-minded fast-paced cutting-edge technological studies / computer science department", they won't be part of the negotations and decision making process. That will be up to managers in the central IT department and other non-technically minded business administrators. I work at a University and Microsoft have already offered this "solution", to management of course! It also turns out that students will get ads, unless the University pays for an ad free service.
  • by tidokoro (967675) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:40AM (#15195053) Homepage Journal
    drops out freshman year, forms harmless little start-up to develop webOS, and goes on to take over the world.
  • by shri (17709) <shriramcNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:51AM (#15195081) Homepage
    >> The Redmond company believes that catching the students early on will turn them into life-long users of Windows Live

    Who was it that said .. if you love someone, set them free? :)
  • Government control (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kestasjk (933987) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:53AM (#15195083) Homepage
    It's things like this which governments should be keeping a close eye on, not bundled media players. Bundling a media player doesn't lock you in; keeping protocols changing and closed (in this case ActiveX) does.
    • Yes, because when your university tells you you must use Mathematica during your course, you can use Maple or Matlab, because they're based on open standards, and GNU Computer Algebra is really becoming stable these days! Don't get me wrong, I think it's a poor choice to throw away the open Internet mail client protocols that academia helped to develop, but get some perspective...
    • It isn't about bundling the media player: it is about the prospect of close coupling it to DRM so that the only content that can ever be played is what the OS supplier permits. The opportunity to extort - sorry, licence - access to your monopoly system is then quite amazing. The difference between the EU Competition Commission and the US one is that the EU is better technically informed.

      There is a case that governments should rule that no college which receives any kind of taxpayer funding should be allowed

      • There is a case that governments should rule that no college which receives any kind of taxpayer funding should be allowed to mandate the use of a product from one particular company to its students, but don't hold your breath waiting.

        I won't. That would essentially outlaw textbooks.
    • Bundling a media player doesn't lock you in

      Actually, it really does. More accurately, it doesn't lock the user in, but it locks the competition out. First, many users are too disinterested or technically unskilled to install other media players and will default to whatever is preinstalled. Second, in business environments, many users do not have administrative rights on their computers, and either I.T. will not install media players or it is a hard enough process that the users will again, fall back to w
  • webmail (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mikesd81 (518581) <mikesd1 AT verizon DOT net> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @03:57AM (#15195090) Homepage
    Web mail is great if you want an email where you can filter spam or from those porn site you don't tell your wife about.

    It's not nearly as good as an e-mail client where you can organize, flag, set rules, mark certain domains with colors bla bla. Also, who wants to refresh the page every x minutes to check for email, or have it reloading and wasting a IE page or tab in firefox/opera whatever when you can just have a small client open and every x minute goes and checks for messages. And the lack of forwarding sucks. What if you want to forward yesterday's notes to your lab partner(s) because he was out sick? Not supporting POP? I'm not sure that's such a big deal, unless it means it doesn't have a pop server that you can't log into. If that's true then see my above comments.
  • What schools? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by b0wl0fud0n (887462) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @04:00AM (#15195095)
    Does anyone have a link to the list of schools who are planning on implementing this?
  • About Time (Score:5, Funny)

    by dartarrow (930250) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @04:05AM (#15195103) Homepage
    Windows Live Goes to College

    About time somebody went to college... I hear the founder was a dropout
  • by jthill (303417) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @04:08AM (#15195113)
    So: MS want to foist Windows Live on .... College students?

    Do they really think they're going to compete with gmail that late in the kids' lives?

    • Do they really think they're going to compete with gmail that late in the kids' lives?

      If your prof is handing out assignments and other stuff via email, and the only way to read it is via this Windows Live crap, then yes, they really can compete. If those kids won't use Windows Live and can't use Gmail for their school stuff, they'll likely be flunking out. Now, it would be interesting to see what the school would do if an entire year flunked out because of this, but somehow I think the kids will fold

      • and the only way to read it is via this Windows Live
        What, Windows Live doesn't talk SMTP? I can't make sense of your reply any other way. Maybe it's just 'cause it's late, but you're going to have to explain to me how the kids will be unable to use whatever email client they already know.
        • FTFP:

          does not support POP or IMAP

          SMTP is irrelevant here. You don't use SMTP to get mail, just to send it.
        • Well, it's pretty obvious you didn't RTFA. The Windows Live email system only really works well with IE, though other posters have mentioned there's some limited functionality in Firefox. It doesn't have IMAP or POP, so you can use a mail reader such as Thunderbird, nad it's pretty much irrelevant whether it has SMTP or not, because that's for SENDING email, not for READING it.

          I'd guess it doesn't have SMTP anyway, since its stated objective is to lock people into the Windows Live email system, and allowi

  • by nickgrieve (87668) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @04:12AM (#15195125) Journal
    And cigarettes... Hook em while they are young, and you have them for life.

    MS, used to be "good" used to be the underdog taking on IBM and Big Iron. Bringing affordable computing to the little guy, breaking the Vender Lock In (tm)...

    "Whoever battles monsters should take care not to become a monster too, for if you stare long enough into the Abyss, the Abyss stares also into you."
    --Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, chapter 4, no. 146

    Its a shame, really it is... :(
    • the Abyss stares also into you.
      --Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, chapter 4, no. 146


      Who's this Nietzsche guy, and why is he ripping off Dylan Hunt quotes?

      -
    • "Whoever battles monsters should take care not to become a monster too, for if you stare long enough into the Abyss, the Abyss stares also into you."

      What the hell does that mean ? I thought an abyss was something similar to a chasm or large hole, they don't have eyes, they can't stare back at you and even in the unlikely event you did happen across an abyss which had developed eyes and it could stare back at you then what has that got do with monsters, how can you become a monster by finding this unfeasible
      • I'm trying to figure out if you're trying to be funny or if you're genuinely failing to grok. Mind elucidating?

        (Yes, an abyss is something similar to a chasm or large hole... but The Abyss, in caps and otherwise taken in context, is clearly a reference to Hell. The passage should be read metaphorically rather than literally: it refers not to literal visual observation of a physical entryway to Hell, but... well, I've provided enough hints that you should get it by now).
      • by Scarletdown (886459) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @07:40AM (#15195580) Journal
        It's rather obvious that that particular abyss is located in Soviet Russia.

    • This is partially true.

      Except all of us have hotmail accounts. We all grew up with hotmail. But most of my friends now use hotmail as their "spam account." Hotmail accounts tend to get used for registration crap, but when I ask for an email address from a collegue, most of the time I'll get a personal domain, work, school, gmail, or yahoo. Having a hotmail or msn email makes you look like a noob idiot.

      Just because you grew up using it doesn't mean you are loyal to it.
    • MS's first move was to partner with IBM when they released DOS. They were on the side of big iron.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Windows live compatibility (from the MS Human Interfaces Group internal sharepoint page). Sorry I'm posting as an a.i. -- I haven't signed an NDA, but still, I'm a'feared.

    "Supported Browsers: IE 6.0 and above and Firefox (latest point release)*
    Non-Supported Browsers: Opera and Safari

    Windows Live is optimized for IE 6.0. Firefox rendering technologies provide an experience nearly identical to IE5.5, so pages designed for IE 5.5 should look good in Firefox as well. Technologies not supported in IE 6.0 may no
  • Kids! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Fengpost (907072)
    Just say no!
  • I seem to recall another company that focused on getting into schools, hoping to get children familiar with their products and thus have them become lifelong users.
    I know there are a lot of Mac users on slashdot (including myself) but how many people really started using macs in school and just never bothered to learn anything else?
    The problem with this line of thinking is that technology moves too fast for this to really be effective. Someone starting at one of those 70 Universities today will, in the 4
  • by Froggy (92010) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @04:54AM (#15195219) Homepage
    No POP? No IMAP? IE only?

    Oh, man. I can just imagine the reaction if my University tried to bring in something like this. It wouldn't just be the Software Libre lunatic fringe objecting -- we have a lot of fairly technically-capable students who like to read and store their mail on their laptops, and they'd howl the place down. Even the relatively technically unclued around here do their browsing with Firefox.

    Mac users would particularly hate it, especially considering Microsoft's recent statements regarding IE on OSX.

    • Mac users would particularly hate it, especially considering Microsoft's recent statements regarding IE on OSX.

      Yup. More like "The Redmond company believes that..." freezing Apple out of colleges (and schools in general) is a pivotal attack point.

      One way to tell which universities don't value freedom and diversity in practice.

       
  • outsided again (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KlaymenDK (713149) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @05:00AM (#15195228) Journal
    .....does not support POP or IMAP, and does not support email forwarding.....

    I s'pose that if I were at one of these schools, I would take one glance at it, decide that it's a valiant effort but incompatible with the world at large in a typically-for-MS sort of way, and not use it.

    Meaning I'd probably be locked out of communicating with 90%+ of my peers (who are invariably less picky and don't mind (or notice?) being locked into being life-long users of one specific application).

    Which is why I have about 3 friends. So all of the above is more or less immaterial (but nonetheless now captured for posterity).
    • Until such time as lecturers start communicating via the university email system, then you'll also be locked out of your own course.

      I was lucky - most of my lecturers didn't like the university email system much either so at the beginning of the year they asked everyone to write down their name and preferred email address on a list. But quite a few people weren't so lucky...
    • Assuming that you would have a real email account not provided by the school, why would it matter if your friends were using a mail service that only worked on Windows PCs? In the past, people with real mail accounts got along reasonably well with friends that had AOL mail.
  • The Redmond company believes that catching the students early on will turn them into life-long users of Windows Live.

    That's how KGB recruited Philby, Burgess, Maclean and Blake. Good luck Bill. You'll need it more than I do.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:51AM (#15195455)
    bad choice for innovation.
  • by szembek (948327)
    Live.com works fine in firefox. I think the submitter should try it out before they make claims.
  • by mtec (572168) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @08:15AM (#15195705)
    " Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. "
    G. Orwell

    Lessee - a filtered search engine, control of all incoming and outgoing communications, a Media Center telescreen on the wall at the commons and in most of the rooms...

    Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist?
    O'Brien: Of course he exists.
  • They Might Be Right (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @09:05AM (#15195902) Homepage Journal
    From TFA: "The Redmond company believes that catching the students early on will turn them into life-long users of Windows Live. They would likely create a Windows Live Messenger account, start a blog and organize their favorites under this e-mail account -- especially if they plan to continue using it, Microsoft says."


    Just think of how many people (Joe Average types, not geeks) started off with DOS/Windows 3.1 machines and built up a whole lot of data on their boxes between the original release and even up to a year or two after Windows 95 was released. Then when the time came to move to a new PC, remember how all of those users migrated their data from the Windows 3.1 box to Windows 95. They were very painstaking in their attention to detail with their precious data, lovingly learning about the file formats and required conversions and then running test migrations before committing to the moved data. And when some of them moved to Macintoshes when the iMacs came out, they were even very good about carrying their data and converting properly there too. Yes, I believe the Microsoft is right in thinking that they will have lifelong customers by 0wnz0ring their user's data and keeping them from using third rate products from competitors. The day and age of people wanting to try alternatives to the mainstream products, have come and gone. Everyone is perfectly happy with the products and services that MS gives them these days and really has no interest in alternatives like Firefox, Google, Mac OS X or Linux. So MS can say this with confidence since there will never be a day when their users might want to migrate their Windows Live data to another service.

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.

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