Microsoft opens up Windows Live services

At the Mix08 conference Microsoft will discuss Live technologies such as APIs for messaging and sharing contacts, as well as new Atom services

Microsoft is expected to discuss several technologies pertaining to its Live Platform at the Mix08 conference in the US this week, including APIs for messaging and sharing contacts.

In his blog from last week, Microsoft's David Treadwell, corporate vice president for Live Platform services at Microsoft, noted several developments pertaining to Windows Live, which is Microsoft's hosted services platform. The company, he said, is opening up the Windows Live Messenger network for third-party Web sites to reach 300 million-plus Windows Live Messenger users.

"When a third party integrates the Windows Live Messenger Library into their site they can define the look and feel to create their own IM experience," Treadwell said. "Unlike the existing third-party wrappers for the MSN Protocol (the underlying protocol for Windows Live Messenger) the Windows Live Messenger Library securely authenticates users, therefore their Windows Live ID credentials are safe."

Also, Microsoft has progressed to beta with the Windows Live Contacts API, an HTTP-based service for developers to programmatically submit queries to and retrieve results from the Windows Live Contacts Address Book database service.

"Web developers can use this API in production to enable their customers to transfer and share their contacts lists in a secure, trustworthy way (ie, no more screen scraping -- a great step on the road toward data portability," Treadwell said.

Another technology that has progressed to beta is Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live, for hosting and streaming cross-platform media experiences and rich interactive applications running on Windows and Macintosh.

"We are increasing the free hosting and storage limit to 10GB," Treadwell said.

Treadwell also said Microsoft is making a large investment in unifying developer platform protocols for services on the Atom format.

"At Mix we are enabling several new Live services with AtomPub endpoints which enable any HTTP-aware application to easily consume Atom feeds of photos and for unstructured application storage. Or you can use any Atom-aware public tools, or libraries such as .Net WCF Syndication, to read or write these cloud service-based feeds," he said.

The company's Application Based Storage API service, which allows developers to store a small amount of state/configuration data in Windows Live data centers on behalf of a user, will be available this week.

Treadwell said Microsoft would make its Windows Live Photo API service and documentation available this week. The API allows users to securely grant permission for third-party Web sites to create, read, or update photos stored on Windows Live.

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