Windows Live Video, Answers On Tap

    March 13, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

A couple of new services associated with Microsoft’s Windows Live online platform offer competition to Google Video and Yahoo Answers.

The forums have unearthed a pair of Windows products being prepped for launch as part of Windows Live. Apparently, there are nearly 30 services for Live in the works.

Their Live Video product for user-generated content can also handle the buying and selling of premium content, LiveSide noted. That contention comes from an interview LiveSide did with Moz Hussain, a product planner for MSN Spaces.

A video service would have ready made competition in the form of Google Video and YouTube. Also, the recent launch of MySpace Film could upset the whole video arena in favor of News Corp.

New modules for Questions Asked and Questions Answered made an appearance and an abrupt departure from MSN Spaces. LiveSide said the service will tie in to Spaces and be called (wait for it) Windows Live Answers:

This new community site, with it’s Spaces tie-in, will allow Windows Live users to pose questions (unanswered via search), have them answered by other users, be able to rate answers by others, and be rewarded for answering questions and having the best answer, as rated by other users. Details on this supplement to search and the reward system are currently unclear, but the new credit/point/rewards are alluded to when Moz Hussain talks about “answering good questions in community q & a” in our recent interview with him. Moz described “rewarding users” as a pillar of what’s to come in the upcoming months with Spaces, saying:

“as our infrastructure for being able to actually pay out to users to give them points and rewards, etcetera, starts developing – we will be able to give people more reward and credit for their contributions to the community. If they are driving traffic, if they are engaging people, if they are writing good content, if they are answering good questions in community q & a – all of these things we can actually reward those users much more effectively”

Yahoo has a service called Yahoo Answers that it unveiled a few months ago. Both it and Live Answers appear to target the kind of audience that once used Usenet to find answers to questions. Instead of newsgroups and anonymous posts, there are categories and registered users. Spaces probably will use a similar approach.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.