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Software via the Internet: Microsoft in ‘Cloud’ Computing

This week, Microsoft plans to make available free software that more seamlessly connects Windows to services on the internet. This a major change in strategy for Microsoft, which normally sells packaged software. This new strategy is meant to shield Microsoft's hundreds of millions of customers from competitors like Google.

The Windows Live service — which will be found at — includes new versions of the company’s Hotmail and Messenger communications services as well as Internet storage components. Microsoft executives said there were roughly 300 million active users each on the Hotmail and Messenger services, with some overlap.

The software release will offer PC users the option of downloading a set of the services with a single Unified Installer program, or as separate components. The individual services are Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger 8.5 and Windows Live OneCare Family Safety, a computer security program.Source: The New York Times
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