The service lets users add graphical templates and maps to slickly formatted event invitations they can e-mail to friends and associates.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

October 12, 2007

1 Min Read

Targeting the market for tools that allow individuals planning events -- from birthday parties to business meetings -- to send invitations over the Web, Microsoft on Friday launched a new online service called Windows Live Events.

The service, part of Microsoft's broader Windows Live suite of Internet-based tools, lets users add graphical templates and maps to slickly formatted event invitations they can e-mail to friends and associates. The available templates include designs related to national holidays, sporting events, birthdays, and religious observances. The service is free to Windows Live users.

In addition to broadcasting invitations, Windows Live Events will let users create a Web page on which attendees will be able to post messages, pictures, and videos related to the event after the fact.

Windows Live Events is Microsoft's latest step in its campaign to go head-to-head with Google and Yahoo -- and smaller, niche players like Evite.com -- in the market for online tools and services.

The company recently unveiled Office Live Workspace, Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and a host of other Web-based productivity and collaboration tools. The "Live" software-as-a-service products are aimed at consumers while the "Online" offerings are meant for enterprise use.

Microsoft is under pressure to bolster its Web businesses as its traditional software products come under pressure from free and open source offerings such as server and desktop versions of the Linux operating system, as well as productivity software like Sun Microsystems' StarOffice suite.

Microsoft's Online Services unit posted sales of $2.5 billion in the most recent fiscal year -- up 7.6% over fiscal 2006.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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