Microsoft’s online personal portal Windows Live offers users a centralized webspace to monitor RSS feeds from news websites and blogs, e-mail messages from Hotmail and Live.com, an online to-do list and various other information like weather updates, stock prices and horoscopes.
Windows Live also offers online bookmarking capabilities similar to that of del.icio.us and Yahoo! My Web 2.0. The site allows for additional functionalities through what it calls as gadgets, which function like online and desktop widgets.
Among the cool gadgets currently available is a simple to-do list you can add to your page. The to-do list is even simpler than that of Rememberthemilk.com and comes with less functionalities. But if you plan to make Live.com your Internet start up page, you wouldn’t need features like e-mail alerts since the page would be the first thing you open when you go online.
You can also integrate Virtual Earth into your page using a gadget.
Its Favorites service promises to free Internet Explorer from the confines of your desktop and allow you to take your bookmarks anywhere. It misses a crucial feature, though-the ability to import bookmarks already stored in other services like del.icio.us. Yahoo offers users an easy way to import del.icio.us bookmarks. Windows Live’s Favorites also offers tagging of the links via keywords.
The service, however, is still slow even in a broadband connection. It may be because I’m using Internet Explorer since the site still doesn’t have Firefox support. But once it gets Firefox or Opera support, I’m sure many people would be using the service more extensively.
Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch said it well: “After what I saw today, I despair for many a silicon valley startup.”