Windows Live hits second generation

Microsoft is adding photo sharing and Web-based hosted storage to Windows Live on Wednesday, though for now the services will be limited to a few thousand preselected testers.The first new service, Windows Live Photo Gallery beta, is essentially an upgraded version of the Windows Photo Gallery that is built into Windows Vista, though it will also work on Windows XP machines. The service expands upon the photo management program by allowing people to upload their photos to a Windows Live Spaces blog.

Microsoft's second new service, tentatively dubbed Windows Live Folders, is essentially an online-storage tool that people can use to back up files, share them with friends or post them publicly. In the current beta program, testers are being given 500 megabytes of online storage. Though they can share files with anyone they wish, people who are invited to use a shared folder have to sign up for a Windows Live ID for authentication, said Brian Hall, general manager of the Windows Live business group.

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