May 012007

Live & raw notes from Brian Arbogast’s keynote:  (watch the video)

“Today we are announcing the Windows Live Platform Beta”

Simple and consistent terms of use across the Windows Live service spectrum

Predictable costs at scale – so that you can plan your business growth with high degree of predictability

Windows Live Web Services evolving from “first party applications” such as Messenger, Hotmail, XBOX Live into reusable and recombinable service offerings to support 3rd party applications such as social networking, rich media, mashups, and enterprise applications.

What can you do with the Windows Live Platform today, at MIX07?

Combine video, photos, contacts, maps, and search into web applications.  Broad spectrum of engagement: you can drop web controls into your web app with just a few lines of JavaScript and be up and running in a matter of minutes, and/or you can dive a little deeper to access service APIs directly and define your own UI and process flow.  A little more work for a lot more options.

User Controlled Privacy Model.  Users have control over what applications can access their private data, and can revoke that access at any time.

Easy to Understand Business Model

Apps can use Windows Live services for free up to a point of “high traffic”.  As app usage grows beyond that threshold, seek to find “exchange of value” for service usage – app use of Microsoft ads, or pay per unique user.  Example:  For Spaces Photos and Live Contacts:  Unlimited use of Web Control.  For direct service API use, free up to 1 million unique users per month (avgd over 3 months).  Past 1Muu/month, apps can either provide exchange of value with Windows Live by serving Microsoft AdCenter ads, or by paying 25 cents per unique user per year.  Similar terms with threshold variations for Silverlight, Virtual Earth, Search.

The intent of the threshold is to nurture adoption and help applications grow at scale.  The clear and simple cost structure beyond the free threshold makes is easy / possible to build a solid business plan that extends from zero all the way out to wildly successful Internet killer app with tens or hundreds of millions of active users.  Knowing your costs up front is critical to structuring your revenue streams so that your business can be as financially successful as your app grows in popularity.

PhotoBlugBlog – Koji showed the PhotoBugBlog travel journal that we “wrote” on stage in yesterday’s 30 Minute Social App session.  I’ll blog more on that later today. dating service – early pioneer in the social networking.  As an industry, online matchmaking is responsible for nearly 10% of all marriages in the United States. alone responsible for 400,000 marriages per year.  60,000 new customers per day worldwide.  55,000 anonymous emails sent between customers each month.  Looking for new ways to communicate, anonymously.  “winks” – one way anonymous message. partnered with MSN Dating & Personals technology:  Microsoft shop.  Windows OS / IIS web platform.  .NET development environment.  SQL server databases.  Significant platform size and scale.  Top 50 site in the English speaking world.  1.5 billion page views per month globally.  “a lot of people looking for love, globally”

Improve user engagement, development new communication tools, anonymous environment, use presence.  Everything through “double blind” anonymity systems. online demo.  customer A can communicate with and see presence of customer B via Messenger even though customer A is not logged into Messenger and customer B is not logged into  This is done using back-end Messenger service APIs used by (No messenger API announcements today, but clearly something is cooking in the labs)


Q: Is Virtual Earth licensing still based on tiling?  It’s very hard for us to plan our business costs around this tiling model.

A: We’ve simplified the Virtual Earth terms a bit already, but there is still an element of tiles served.  That’s sort of representing our back-end cost structure for the images we license, but you’re not the first to ask this question.  We’ll continue working on simplifying the Virtual Earth licensing even further.



This post was originally published on my MSDN blog while I was at Microsoft.