I'm now working away in an environment that means that I cannot download any of the Windows Live applications I would normally use, i.e. Live Writer, Outlook Connector and Live Messenger. I'm going to ignore Messenger simply because I cannot even get Windows Messenger to work due to built in restrictions but the others are more of an issue. I personally do not like the current trend towards moving entire applications to the Cloud and I prefer having information stored in the cloud but accessed from a lightweight app installed on my machine. For example I like the fact that I can get my email into Outlook through the connector and I can set up RSS feeds. However it annoys me that I cannot setup a shared area online from which Outlook will download the feeds. I know Google has Reader, and I'm using it now that I can't access Live, but I want a shared area where any of my devices can access my RSS feeds which are stored on Live and are up-to-date. The software-and-services approach. After 3 days working in a restricted environment I'm starting to appreciate the Google approach of having full applications online and I would like to see Microsoft following this a bit more. A version of Live Writer that is accessible from the Internet and doesn't need any downloads would be great, an RSS reader similar to Google Reader, Live Mail with similar functionality to Live Mail Desktop i.e. ability to receive mail from other accounts and a proper Live Calendar that I can sync with my other devices without having to pay.
There are people who will probably be wondering why not just use Google Apps instead but I prefer Microsoft's products I just feel that there's currently too many holes in the lineup to make it entirely viable at the moment. From my Vista machine and XP mahine it's great because I'm in control, in a working environment I have to move to Google. Come on Microsoft I need the online apps before I decide to simply write my own.
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