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Microsoft Introduces Updated Windows Live Services [microsoft.com]
Microsoft Corp. today announced the next generation of Windows Live, an integrated set of online services that make it easier and more fun for consumers to communicate and share with the people they care about most. The new generation of Windows Live includes updated experiences for photo sharing, e-mail, instant messaging, as well as integration with multiple third-party sites. The release also includes Windows Live Essentials, free downloadable software that enhances consumers’ Windows experience by helping them simplify and enjoy digital content scattered across their PC, phone and on Web sites. For more information about windows live go to [windowslive.com ].
There are a lot of changes here [microsoft.com]. There's so much here it's hard to grasp it all.
If the services work as explained this could pose some decent competition to Google's portal of apps.
Paul Thurrot has a very good preview of all the upcoming features: