Microsoft has released Windows Live Messenger for Symbian before providing it to MSN Mobile. Microsoft is already receiving some flack for this release to Symbian, the Chinese language version of MSN mobile mainly controlled by Nokia, as a strategic error.
In overview, ZDNet delivers a sub par report card for the Microsoft Live initiative. The results: “A- for delivery, but a D- for presentation.” The Live branding is widely considered confusing, as Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff told ZDNet, “It seems like end-users who don’t particularly follow Microsoft have never heard of Live or confuse it with the next version of Windows, and customers, partners, and advertisers often express puzzlement over the difference between Windows Live, Live (e.g., Live Search), and MSN. The developer strategy for Live still hasn’t seemed to gel very well, either.”
In other MSFT fowl-ups, an online tete-a-tete to alleviate security concerns about Vista among European partners went awry as the Microsoft Live Meeting software experienced ‘technical difficulties‘ that dropped dozens of attendees from the conference and forced them to reschedule. Others reported problems with the video and audio performance of the Live Meeting system.
Update: Announced today, Windows Live Mobile is scheduled to be available by December to Orange customers in France, and in the UK and Spain by early next year. However, details on the technology and its compatibility remains vague. This from the Register:
The rollout will be limited by the availability of compatible software, on a range of handsets, and not limited to those running Windows Mobile or its derivatives. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said the software would differ from that already available on Windows Mobile, though the details aren’t yet available. In fact, very few details are being provided at all. When pushed for information about the software, capabilities, handsets supported, or what is so new about the service, neither Orange nor Microsoft would be drawn.