Windows Live Domains now supports Co-branding
Began my morning with a shocker from "mashable" on twitter: "Microsoft takes on Ning"..
i thought that a new version of groups.msn.com may have been launched (for long the community members in India have been asking for the same)... but the news turned out to be a little different..
Microsoft has launched a new service - "Community Builder" hosted at: http://partner.live.com/communitybuilder
As of this moment, Community Builder is nothing but Live Custom Domains. The Live team seems to be trying to bundle all the various services they have offered under this umbrella. However, this is not "Community Builder" from far stretch of imagination. It is what i would probably call - "Business Live".. it has options to host your email, get a messenger account.. same as in Live Custom Domains - what is new here is the branding option. in the branding, the Community Builder is offering option to include your company logo at the top of the page.
With this, I would say that Live has played catch up to Google Apps.
Now at the main page of community builder, there is mention of offering:
- Live Alerts ( i wonder if this works as i never received an email that i was going to get after signup there)
- Live Contacts (while APIs have been available since the beginning)
- Shared Calendar (http://calendar.live.com services recently launched)
- Member Pages with Live spaces (Blogging & Social interaction platform)
The integration of the same doesn't come out in the Community Builder. Maybe that'll be the future.. i think that Live team needs to integrate their value propositions and present a coherent and strong message to the community!
"creating a community service can now achieve deeper and more engaging connections with their community through customised, branded online experiences. Whether they want branded, familiar email services for their community or a member’s only area on their web site, complete with calendaring, contacts, and mapping features; Windows Live Community Builder has what they, their administrators, and their technology partners need. It’s easy to get started and painless to maintain"
As rightly said, the MSN Group admins in India are finding for a better UI, hopefully should have a better alternative soon.