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Microsoft Unveils Web based Applications

Microsoft is moving softwares and services online, fending off several smaller startups targetting small business houses. The Redmond, Washington based company announced the details yesterday with Live Mail, Live Messenger, Safety Center and Favorites. Few of the applications are not yet active and would be activated soon as per the site(www.live.com).

"These new offerings demonstrate how software is evolving through the power of services in ways that enable more dynamic and relevant experiences for people," said Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect. "Our goal is to make Windows, Office and Xbox further come alive for our customers at work, home and play."

"Our dream is to deliver a seamless experience where all the technology in your life and business comes together in a way that "just works, for you," said Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief technical officer. "Seamless experiences put people and the things they want to accomplish at the center, with technology easily and transparently connecting them to the people, devices and information that matter most."

Gates said the seeds of the Live strategy were sowed in 1999, when Microsoft started talking seriously about software as a service. The idea did not take root then, but portions of it , such as Net Docs and Active Desktop, which the company seemed to have abandoned over the intervening years, have been reincarnated in various forms in the Live concept.

The products won't replace the company's ubiquitous operating system or productivity suite, and people don't need to have that software loaded to tap into the Web versions. "They are not required to use Windows or Office," Gates said at a press event here.

Gates said that Windows Live is a set of Internet-based personal services, such as e-mail, blogging and instant messaging. It will be primarily supported by advertising and be separate from the operating system itself. Office Live will come in both ad-based and subscription versions that augment the popular desktop productivity suite.

"This advertising model has emerged as a very important thing," Gates said.

But free products won't replace paid software. Many of the Live releases will have payment tiers, Gates said, with the lowest levels free and ad-supported, and higher-end versions paid for by the user.

"We'll have licenses and subscriptions as well," Gates said. In many cases, companies will have a choice between running software on their own servers or as a Live service.