Microsoft to replace MSN Groups with Windows Live Groups

Microsoft has been planning to remove MSN Groups and re brand them with Windows Live since the introduction of Windows Live. Now it seems Windows Live Groups will launch on November 17th, replacing MSN Groups, set to close on February 21, 2009.

In an email from a Microsoft Technical Support spokesperson, it is advised that Microsoft will be launching a service named multiply to migrate MSN Groups to Multiply so that they can be preserved after MSN Groups is closed in February.

Jonathan Yaniv, a Microsoft Windows Live Enthusiast, has been doing some digging around the Microsoft Windows Live internal sites. Yaniv has found that you can now apply new themes to groups, stop people from using your Group in Windows Live Messenger to chat and Microsoft has implemented a mailing list feature for group emails and an option to ban known spammers.

Below is an example of the new Windows Live Groups set to launch next month (courtesy of Jonathan Yaniv).

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Why does MS bother? The masses don't care about Live Spaces or other Live Services. In fact, most people I ask have never heard of these services. It'd be wise not to invest the money and energy in losing products. Time is better spent allowing MSN/Live to link their Facebook or Myspace accounts to their Hotmail inboxes to receive updates there. Additionally, allowing Messenger users to define their profile URL rather than using the generic Spaces service would be a coup.

they still have hotmail! wow!!!!

But seriously, it doesn't really matter whether they call it MSN or Windows Live Groups does it? It's still hosted by Microsoft and there will always be a segment of people who will never trust it or use it.

I have been wondering about this service. I hope they integrate it with Windows Live Spaces, so users can create their own personalized forums based on their personal interest.