December 17, 2005


I’m starting to make the switch. While I’m still a Sprint employee for the next two weeks, I’m beginning to drink the blue Kool-Aid. So what is changing? Here’s the short list:

1. I am switching from GMail to MSN Hotmail. That switch will be hard because everyone knows my public presence through Gmail. But the change is manageable. Hotmail is a solid product that provides a parity of features. But beyond the parity of mail, there are some interesting goodies I’m now exploring – like mobile mail on my phone handset. Again, its probably not a differentiatior, but it integrates well. In the past, I loved to perform the integration tasks. Now, I need products and services that ship as integrated packages. My new email address is I will keep the Gmail account for a short time – but principally as an email forwarder – just until I notify everyone and get established.

2. I am switching from Gtalk to MSN Live Messenger. This will only affect a few of my closest friends. But I suspect that it may be hard to get into the Live Messenger Beta. Let’s hope I can leverage a couple friends in Redmond to help. Robert, do you have any pull with the Live Messenger crowd?

3. I will be switching my blog. That one will be hard. Actually, the switch itself will be easy. But the affect to my readers will be huge. So I’ll try and make it semi-transparent. First, I will acquire a neutral domain name. Then, I’ll either use a hosting service and manage the site myself or I’ll use the MSN Spaces ecosystem. I’m still working this one out. But for now, I’m still on Blogger.

4. I’ve removed the MS Anti-spyware Beta (formerly known as Giant Software) from my home system. At the same time, I’ve removed my Avast anti-virus instance. Instead, I have jumped onto the Microsoft OneCare Live beta. Once I removed all other memory-resident anti-virus and anti-spyware tools, the OneCare stuff seems to work great. I really like the OneCare model. It is designed around providing a one-stop shop for system care and maintenance. This includes system defense as well as system performance. If you’re inclined to try the service before it goes live, you can find it at Ideas Live.

The “Live” site is starting to see some real traffic. I can’t wait until the buzz becomes tangible. The entire “Live” campaign is a change from products to services. It will be interesting to see what the long-term transformational benefits will be. But customers aren’t “buying” software from a vendor. Instead, they are buying management services – like lawn care.

Could someone do these system care tasks for themselves? Of course they could. And most people do so – or don’t do anything at all. But the service is designed to lift that burden from the consumer. BTW, giving computer users more time is exactly what the computer was designed to do. When computers require more time than they return back, then computers are not trasnforming our lives, merely absorbing them. This new services model has the opportunity to return time back to our customers. And that’s what the digital revolution is all about!

What Is LiveNow?

Now that you’ve read this far, I can tell you what the title of this post is all about. Over the past few months, I’ve been noodling with the notion of how I could characterize the changes that are about to be unleashed upon our customers. When I graduated from college, we moved from the Batch Era to the Online Era. In the late-eighties, we moved from the Online Era to the Distributed Era. In the mid-nineties, we moved from the Distributed Era to the Internet Era. And now, we are poised before what I was calling the Now Era.

For me, the Now Era was the time when computing was no longer an exercise in refering to data. Rather, it involved having instantaneous and ubiquitous access to the data. Further, Now Computing means being able to invoked services in real-time that will act upon the information you – the customer – needs. Indeed, Now Computing is about real-time access and real-time action.

Well, as I’ve pondered my role at Microsoft, I’ve reconsidered my desire to categorize the next computing era as the Now Era. Instead, I formally adopt the nomeclature of Microsoft. We are entering the Live Era. But I will put a little spin on the Microsoft slang. And I’ll do a mashiup with the outstanding LiveStrong efforts of the Lance Armstrong foundation. My new characterization will be the LiveNow crowd. We are part of the Live Era, and the emphasis is on the here and now (not the distant future).

And this mashup has another tangible meaning. I am alive now because of computing technology. Without my ICD, I would have gone to be with my Lord in Heaven. And while I desire that outcome with all my heart and spirit, I still have things to do in the here and now. So the LiveNow campaign blends my new career at Microsoft, the new era of computing, my continuing life and joy, my love of cycling, and a whole lot more. So don’t be surprised when you see me with a blue wristband right next to my LiveStrong wristband.

So team, let’s LiveNow.




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2 Comments on “LiveNow”

  1. Robert Scoble Says:

    Why are you switching? I think it’s more credible when an employee knows his competition.

    I’d love it if you had both and could comment on what you like and hate about both.


  2. CyclingRoo Says:

    I understand, appreciate and agree with your point. Indeed, I am using both for now. I will be maintaining both as long as my new management team concurs that it is wise to keep apprised of what the competition provides.

    But it will be difficult to keep it going indefinitiely. I am double-posting and maintaing multiple email accounts. Over time, I know that this will become tedious. Let’s see how long I can keep it up. In the meantime, you can find my free MS-hosted version at



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