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By | Kelly Fiveash 26th January 2009 12:36

Microsoft merges Windows Live with Office Live

There were two in a bed, and the little one said...

Microsoft will fold its less than successful Office Live product into its less than successful Windows Live product, presumably to allow the increasingly cash-sensitive firm to rein in costs.

Of course Redmond prefers to describe the decision as a way of “simplifying the customer experience around our Live services”. Now MS fans will be able to go to one single destination for all their online Windows and Office needs, said Microsoft’s director of Office Live product management and marketing Kirk Gregerson.

Office Live, which remains in beta, was made publicly available about ten months ago and now has four million people signed up to it, according to MS.

Gregerson said the company has simply responded to customer feedback, many of whom have told Microsoft they want all its Live services - which include email, IM and storage - to be available under one roof.

“We think that just makes a ton of sense and goes a long way toward giving you a simpler, richer, better service that allows you to do more with one account,” he said.

However, Microsoft has once again refused to comment on whether its Live moniker would now be rebranded to Kumo. That’s despite the fact that WHOIS revealed in November that the firm had re-routed Kumo.com to some of its Live Search servers.

"We don’t comment on rumour or speculation," a Microsoft spokesman told El Reg.

Meanwhile, Microsoft also confirmed on Friday that the Windows 7 beta availability was getting an extended run. Testers will be able to download it until 10 February.

The public beta went live earlier this month, but Redmond servers buckled under the strain of demand forcing the firm to delay the code’s release by a day while it laid on more backend infrastructure. ®

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