If you haven't heard, this was a BIG announcement this week by Microsoft that signals our intention to provide more hosted services. For the first time in 3 years I have changed my homepage - to www.live.com - it's just a cool, clean and very useful site. I imported my OPML file so I can now browse my favourite RSS feeds from anywhere, I can drag and drop "gadgets" to lay out my page the way I like....and, it's just.....cool. It's encapsulated by this:

"Windows Live is based on one simple idea: that your online world gets better when everything works simply and effortlessly together. So all the things you care about online - your friends, the latest information, your e-mails, searching the Net - all come together in one place. Windows Live is a brand new Internet experience designed to put you in control. And this is just the beginning-you'll see many more new products in the coming months."

The announcments were all a bit of a surprise but for me a plesant one. When I look at www.live.com it showed the real potential that we have on the web now to deliver very fast, interactive and intuitive applications - largely through the use of AJAX technology. I should point out that this is "async Javascript and XML" rather than a popular household cleaning product here in the UK.

Meantime, Office Live is desgined for small businesses with up to 10 employees - by providing a web site, domian name and email accounts for free. More on that soon.