There’s a lot of web services in the internet. Quoting the release info from Windows Live Team:
For our partners, they’re great because just like other viral sharing mechanisms, they help new people discover each site’s content within the context of global services like Messenger and Hotmail that are already used by nearly 450 million people a month. And, the content being shared is more relevant and likely to be clicked on by the viewer, because it’s coming directly from their friends.
Web activities actually do more than that for me. The release assume that the users of Windows Live is already member of the services, and that it drives new peoples to come and visit.
In my experience, the availability of aggregation in sites I used is actually as important as alternate login (e.g: OpenID, Facebook Connect). If there’s aggregation for the service available, I’d be more encouraged to try those sites. For example, when I tried Fotolog,, Goodreads, Last.fm and StumbleUpon. Also, the reason I choose Digg instead of del.icio.us. Not just Windows Live, also Friendfeed (Backtype, Mixx, Tumblr) and Retaggr (CoComment).
Why? Just like the alternate login, I get something I can use for more than something in the closed garden. I can login using the key I bring from other place. For these websites, well, I can share it more widely, easily. It also gives a standard motivator to give that push on the back for curious me to try those services and try using it regularly.
The problem with the choices though. Windows Live now had more services supported than FriendFeed, but the choices is dominated by services popular in a specific local market. That’s why I find more than half are services I’ll never actually use.