Sometimes it’s hard to understand Microsoft’s Web and Mobile Web branding. There’s MSN and there’s Windows Live and I never know which one to use. I think back in 2005 when Live was launched it was supposed to eventually replace MSN. It was a full portal; Live Search, Live Spaces, Live HotMail, Live Messenger and a Live homepage with News and Sports. But Live as a replacement for MSN never really took off and it seems to be have been repositioned as MIcrosoft’s Search brand.
On the mobile web, the Live Portal concept lives on with MSN Mobile (mobile.msn.com) and LIve Mobile (mobile.live.com) existing side by side. MSN is more of a content site with News and Entertainment headlines and photos on the front page while Live is basically a list of links to all of Microsoft’s Mobile Web properties.
Earlier this month Microsoft launched a new Beta version of Live Mobile at mhome.live.com. It’s a complete redesign with a search box and link to HotMail at the top, and then your profile photo from Spaces and a What’s New feed of updates from your friends’ blogs. The links to Microsoft’s other Mobile Web properties have been moved to the bottom but can be reached quickly by clicking the More link at the top of the page.
The Beta is certainly an improvement over the old Mobile Live page in that it has some content beyond just links. But I don’t understand why the access keys (one-click numeric shortcuts) were removed. Access keys are a great way to reduce click distance, the single most important element of mobile usability.
It is a beta so it’s not finished yet. Expect to see some fine tuning and maybe even some new features.
Mobile Link: mhome.live.com
Ratings: Content: Usability:
Related: WapReview Mobile Directory -Portals