Q:

What is Windows Live?

A:

Quick Answer

Windows Live was a brand name used by Microsoft as an umbrella term to describe its cloud-based products, or software plus services products. It has been discontinued as a brand, although some of the applications and services still exist as part of Windows Essentials.

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Full Answer

The Windows Live brand covered a range of products from Microsoft. This included:

  • Windows Mail - its email service
  • Windows Live Messenger - the instant messaging service from Microsoft
  • Skydrive - the Microsoft cloud storage product and service. It was previously called OneDrive.
  • Windows Live Family Safety - parental control software
  • Movie Maker - the movie making application from Microsoft
  • Windows Live Search - the search engine which is now known as Bing

These services were accessed by users primarily through browsers on desktop computers, or through mobile devices. It was launched in 2005 and rebranded the company's services which were formerly known as MSN.

The change in strategy which resulted in the phasing out of the Windows Live brand came about with the release of Windows 8. All of the services that were part of Windows Live became part of Windows 8 as standard. The phasing out process started in 2012, with most of the products and services remaining, albeit under different names.

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