Yesterday, Microsoft finally started talking about some of the things we've been hush about for most of the year. Number 1 on the list of announcements, from my perspective, is the disclosure of Office Live Workspaces and number 2 is rebranding of the current Microsoft Office Live as Office Live Small Business.
Workspaces - Get on the waiting list now! www.officelive.com The Workspaces service is going to be a well-integrated way to make your documents available from anywhere via your personal Workspace. Even if you don't have Microsoft Office on another machine, you'll still be able to view those documents on the web. There are also powerful sharing tools that allow you to bring others into your workspace to collaborate on those documents, trying to tackle the tough problem of document versioning. Seriously, get on the waitlist now. Very exciting stuff.
The other top announcement is the rebranding of the current Office Live service as Office Live Small Business. This is a logical task that falls out of announcing Office Live Workspaces. We of course had to differentiate them. Also, I think this is a great move since it helps clear up some of the confusion folks had over the Office Live name. Now Office Live becomes more of an uber-brand like Windows Live, and OL Small Business & Workspaces are sub-brands. In particular, a lot of developers were expecting a full-fledged web hosting experience on Office Live Small Business. Hopefully the name change will help clarify the audience we are attempting to cater to with the OLSB service... Small Businesses. So, although we have gotten lots of requests for this feature and that, it is always the Small Business needs that help us decide what makes the cut. Now, hopefully that will be more clear to folks when they try out the product. NOTE: I'm not on the marketing team and did not work on the rebranding effort, so this is just my opinion. I have no insider knowledge about exactly why one name was chosen over another.