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  Wanted: A Clear Explanation of Microsoft Live

I'll pay $50 (via Amazon Gift Certificate) to any person who can parse the following. All you have to do is tell me, in clear, concise terms:What the hell is Microsoft thinking with this Windows Live branding?

Here's Gord Hotchkiss interviewing Microsoft Live Search's Justin Osmer - and I'm italicizing all the cliches that come from muddled thinking:

Q: Why the move in branding from MSN Search to Live Search? What was the thinking behind that?

The thinking behind Windows Live in general is that it's a suite of services that are available across the Microsoft platform of products. So MSN has the ability to give you your email, get to search and so on, but those things are Windows Live branded experiences and services. MSN still has search today, but it's powered by Windows Live Search. Same as if you go to today, it's powered by Windows Live Search. So, it's somewhat intentional in setting up in Windows Live a collection of things to allow people to get all the information they care about in one spot. With one log in you get your contact list, a melding of your IM contacts and your mail contacts, you've got your Windows Live personalized page that you can set up to get your own RSS feeds, you've got your search results there, you can build in your search macros, you've got all sorts of things that you can do to make it even that much more uniquely yours.

MSN continues to be a very strong brand and a place where people love to go get content, read content, review content and get immersed in that content. Windows Live is more about you cherry picking what's important to you, pulling that down and having that in one spot. And then the services that underlie Windows Live will then power the experiences on these other properties.

Was that answer supposed to make things clearer? Strunk & White would have a field day with that answer.

I'm not sure why normal people would need to log in, build search macros, or want to meld their contacts? Do real users think : "I'm going to MSN to get some content"?

Moreover, if MSN "continues to be a very strong brand", then why dilute it with Windows Live? From that answer, the best I can infer is that Windows Live is about cherry picking and personalization?

As Tom Hanks said in BIG! - I don't get it... and neither, apparently, does anyone at Microsoft!?!

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