Microsoft renews web apps push

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Microsoft renews web apps push

Two new betas herald new focus on services.

Microsoft has released a beta of two online services in what the company claims will be a renewed campaign for web-based applications. 

The pair of Windows Live services consist of a web-based storage service and a photo-sharing site.

Windows Live Folders is a free 500MB online storage service that the company hopes will facilitate further sharing of documents between users.

Windows Live Photo Gallery ties into the photo applications currently shipping with Windows Vista and XP, allowing users to upload and share photos and digital video.

Both products are in 'managed beta', meaning that the general public will not yet be offered access. Microsoft did not say when it would release public beta versions.

Microsoft currently has 15 Windows Live applications available in public beta form.

The two new services are only the beginning of a larger campaign to push web services, according to Windows Live programme manager Chris Jones.

"Looking ahead five years we believe that every piece of software could come with a service and that customers will come to expect that," he said.

Microsoft hopes that its dominant position in the software market will give it an advantage over web-only service providers such as Google and Yahoo. 

"It is a competitive advantage for us because, while some companies offer just one or the other, offering software and services together makes for a stronger customer experience," said Jones.
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