Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's over for aggregators

You know.. aggregators? Like FriendFeed? It's over for them. Windows Live is added Web Activities. They'll probably get more people using it in the first day than FriendFeed has in their entire life.

Now if anyone had a clue what Windows Live actually was, that might be meaningful. But there are a variety of things Windows Live seems to be:
  • Some kind of web portal.
  • A search engine.
  • A bunch of stuff you install on your computer, like an instant messaging app.
  • Some kind of syncing thing ("Mesh"?)
  • A photo album viewer
  • A gaming thing like Xbox Live
  • A blogging thing (WindowsLive Spaces)

Windows Live is essentially so non-branded it just means anything that Microsoft decides to do online at the time. And this week, it's a FriendFeed ripoff.

Apple constantly accuses Microsoft of stealing stuff, but here's one thing they haven't stolen: any kind of decent branding strategy. At least when Apple comes up with some dumb service they give it a slick name, even if it's worse than free alternatives. Microsoft comes up with actually pretty decent services -- often stolen from others' ideas -- then doesn't brand them at all and they end up fading into oblivion.

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