I predicted since practically a year ago, but I could tell that the social networking aspect of Windows Live Spaces was already weak enough, but now its pretty much official that Live Spaces won’t become the social networking arena now that Windows Live Profile is created.
So what’s coming up with the new Spaces then? Well according to Windows Live:
1. No ads – That would probably make everyone happy, as I have found the banner ad being at the top super annoying. However, I can’t help but wonder how Microsoft will monetize Spaces if there are no ads. Wouldn’t all the new data coming in the form of blogs take up some server space? Meaning more money to maintain and purchase server space? I’m wondering how Microsoft can do that without pulling in advertising money from Spaces. I would have been ok with contextual ads, or the banner ad being on the right and the ability to collapse it, but oh well.
2. Header to be simple – Windows Live logo on the far left, ID logo on the right. I just wish they would do something to make it easy to go to another section of Windows Live from the header though. I find this header to be inconsistent with all the other new Wave 3 headers. Anyone agree? Seems kinda strange how it’s quite different from the headers of the other services.
3. Photo storage separated from Spaces – Photos will be stored on SkyDrive, but you can still view those photos on your Spaces page. It’s just that photos aren’t stored in Spaces anymore. You can also share and view just from SkyDrive. Also, since it’s dependent on SkyDrive now, the old 500 picture limit per month is a bit different now. The limit will still be there, but it’s only up to 25GB. Should be good enough though for a very long time. It just used to be a continuous exponential storage. I’ll miss that.
4. Better photo preview – Instead of opening a new tab/window showing the enlarged photo, it will just pop out to it’s original size, right on the page, and everything else darkens on the page, until you close the preview. I’m not sure how you can click to find the original photo instead of just the preview, but I’ll find out as soon as the update comes.
5. What’s New highlights just new blog posts and comments – Most contact updates will show up on Windows Live Profile. The What’s New feed on Live Spaces will just mainly show new blog posts, comments, and who knows what else.
I was really hoping for more than just this though. Almost been a year it seems, since there’s been a major update. In my next post, I’ll be talking about how Microsoft should fix Windows Live Spaces (based on the latest Spaces update news) to make it more appealing from Average Joe blogger, to bloggers who want something a bit more fancy (but would like the Windows Live connection or something exclusive Microsoft could offer).