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February 19, 2007 Lets You Share Start Pages

Reminder. is a site where you can create a start page, by adding feeds, gadgets and customizing the settings. is also the domain that hosts all the Windows Live services, Microsoft's response to Google's ever increasing online presence. The Windows Live brand partially replaced MSN, creating a lot of confusion, and failed to deliver too many innovative or successful products. End of reminder. has always been a step ahead of Google's Personalized Homepage and a step below Netvibes. Launched at the end of 2005, a few months after Google IG, added tabs and ways to read the full content of a feed much earlier than Google. The site is also much more customizable: you can choose the number of columns and a color theme. Even if has big usability problems (for example, it's hard to add gadgets, the feed search is terrible) and there aren't too many gadgets to choose from, it's nice to see that Microsoft continues to improve the product.

The new feature I wanted to talk you about is page sharing (or collections, as Windows Live likes to call it). You can now go to a tab, click on "Share" / "Send a link", to get a link to your tab. If someone clicks on that link, he can add the tab to his own page. Here's a link to a tab about Google.

What's cool is that actually saves the settings for the feeds and gadgets, so you'll see that I've chosen to show 10 headlines from Google Operating System's feed. also saves the query for the image search gadget, so you'll see images about Google in that gadget.

A personalized homepage gathers what's important to you, but a subset from that could become public. Google could also add this feature and add by default: your shared items from Google Reader, your public albums from Picasa Web, the public events from your calendar, the public notebooks and documents, your favorite Google Groups, your blogs or a map with your location.

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