Start.com vs Live.com

23 Dec
2007

I’ve never understood why Microsoft decided to brand its next-generation online tools under Live.com, and not Start.com

I mean – ‘Start’ is already what so many users do when using Windows – it is the gateway to all the applications on their computer. It also has a very nice sense of it – Start.com = where you start on the web. Live.com = where you live on the web? The thing is that the beauty of Google always was that once they helped you find the information you wanted, they pushed you right off. Ala what Start signifies – not Live.

Just something that has always boggled my mind. With the recent news that iGoogle is Google’s rising star it ties even more into the idea of using ‘Start.com’ as the brand – your personalized page where you start when you load the computer (and even possibly making it IE8’s home page).

I just find Start.com far superior intuitive-wise – your thoughts?

7 Responses to Start.com vs Live.com

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Tim L. Walker

December 23rd, 2007 at 4:07 pm

You know, I’d kinda forgotten about Start.com… but now that you bring it up, I totally agree with what you’re saying. In addition, there’s the live (a live here) vs. live (a live show) issue… I’ve heard it pronounced both ways, which is brutal for WOM marketing.

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Ahmed

December 23rd, 2007 at 4:19 pm

A sort of obvious-extension – LiveOnline.com vs StartOnline.com – go look at both ;)

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Hany

December 23rd, 2007 at 4:37 pm

I wasn’t aware that Start.com was owned by Microsoft as well.

I still don’t understand why they had to re-brand. What was wrong with MSN? Why did they have to re-brand to live.com?

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Ahmed

December 23rd, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Hany – yes Start.com is where they tested out their new platform before going live with … Live.com

I’ve always seen it as MSN.com = content, Live.com = tools/services.

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Tim L. Walker

December 23rd, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Well, they’ve owned Start.com forever, haven’t they? Is that what they sort of used after they launched Windows 95?

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Hany

December 24th, 2007 at 12:46 am

Here’s what I don’t understand…

Instead of building two different sites with different services (all made by the same company), why don’t they just combine these two sites and make ONE even bigger site?

That’s what Go.com is all about, several different services all put under one domain name. If live.com and msn.com and microsoft.com (and all the other microsoft-owned sites) would combine, wouldn’t that make an even bigger site?

A similar proposition is that YouTube and Google combine. YouTube having a sub-domain or something, like youtube.google.com, so that Google.com itself becomes bigger.

I don’t understand why these companies don’t unite their properties like this. Any thoughts?

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Ahmed

December 24th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Well Hany – it is about branding and perception. It is hard for a brand to be considered #1 in everything. Right now, when you think of search – what do you think of? (I’m gonna guess Google). And what about video? YouTube. So while Google tries to make it obvious that Google owns YouTube, YouTube is considered the #1 product in video – so they leave it alone.

I believe the same thinking was with MSN. As a site, it was already viewed as a place of content. Microsoft otoh is known for its tech products – software and hardware. And so Live.com was/is used as its brand of services and tools – from search to maps to online storage.

I just think that Start.com is a much nicer and easier to remember brand.

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