Mentioned this briefly in my previous post, but I’m going to make a self-contained post too.
Microsoft seem to have no focus with what they’re doing. They have too many products on the go at once, a lot of which do similar things. I know this may be a transition period, as they are apparently removing the built in programs in Windows 7, but still, it’s confusing to end users.
Here’s an example. I have Windows Mail preinstalled with Vista. When I install Office 2007, I get Outlook installed too. Now, with these Live betas, I get another mail client! (Windows Live Mail). The same is true for calendar apps (except outlook does calendar too).
They also have Office live, which seems to provide online document storage, but then they also have Skydrive, which also seems to do a similar thing. Then they have Live Mesh, which also offers online storage. Live mesh also offers remote desktop features, when there is already a client built into Vista (although the Mesh one is different in that it’s better for accessing a computer over the internet).
Maybe I’m just not understanding their system. Maybe each product is designed for a different type of user (I know that Outlook etc is definitely designed for the business user). But it still seems very complicated, when they could be focusing on one product line that does it all.
A lot of the products seem to be in response to Google products. They have updated Hotmail and the Calendar to compete with Gmail and Google Calendar. As far as I can see though, they have 2 or 3 different Calendar apps, which seem to be seperate from each other! I don’t want to be adding something to one, and it not appear on others.
Maybe they’re also trying to compete with Apple and the MobileMe service. I’ll look into that a bit more, as I’m not 100% sure on what both services offer.
Chances are, I’ll start to understand each program a bit more when I’ve played with them a bit, and I might do a comparison between them all. But for now, it just all seems very confusing and decentralised.
I’m sure I’ve missed some other products, too.