Windows Live Review

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Verdict: Some cool widgets, but excessive Microsoft branding gets in the way of true functionality.

While MSN's MyMSN is an aging and underpowered personal homepage, the more up-to-date Live.com from Microsoft is closer to the rich custom portals Google and Yahoo offer. Live is among the easiest pages to customize. The "Add Stuff" button for adding content simply pops up atop the tabbed homepage, so you can rifle through directories of well-organized choices and drag and drop items onto any of the tabs. Live also shares with the new Windows Vista a number of "Gadgets," such as live weather maps and branded multimedia like Today Show clips or TV listings.

Unfortunately, Live is more about keeping you on the MSN and Microsoft reservation than it is about giving you easy access to all of your personal tools. We couldn't figure out an easy way to add our POP3 e-mail account or personal Flickr images to the page. In many of the content selections, MSN and its partners are prominent to the point of obscuring the range of possible options. If you want a nice start page with cool widgets and links to the most common feeds, Windows Live is a decent choice. But we prefer Google or Netvibes.
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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
Software Type Web App
Platforms Windows
Company Website www.live.com