Microsoft is ditching the Windows Live brand. In Windows 8 cloud services will simply be referred to by their names and instead of a Windows Live ID, users will log on with their Microsoft Accounts.
At the moment perhaps you use Windows Live Messenger and wonder how this differs from the Windows Messenger you used to use. Well it seems that Microsoft now intends to "reimagine" the set of services it provides via the Internet, in particular Hotmail, SkyDrive and Messenger and the tag "Windows Live", is going to fade away over the coming months.
This news is announced a blog post by Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live Division, in which he reflects that while the Windows live services are used by over 500 million people per month this usage level, "did not meet our expectations of a truly connected experience" and also by conveying an impression of being "bolted on" created some amount of customer confusion,
So in Windows 8 there will be no separate brand and the services and apps for communication and sharing (Hotmail, SkyDrive and Messenger) will be:
a seamless part of the Windows experience, accessible in Windows desktop apps, Windows Metro style apps, standard web browsers, and on mobile devices.
That seems OK but is "Microsoft Account" a good replacement for "Windows Live ID"? It conveys the idea of paying for services - and yes you will use the same account to check billing for services like Xbox LIVE, Zune, and the Windows 8 app store. Will users be confused and avoid using SkyDrive in case this triggers a charge?