Microsoft has unwrapped Windows Live Spaces, its successor to MSN Spaces, NewsFactor Network reports here. Designed in the mold of sites like MySpace and Facebook, Windows Live Spaces is a community for sharing blogs, pictures, music and other messages with friends. It easily integrates with existing Live services like Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail. Microsoft Watch reports here that the site experienced performance, publishing, rendering and browser-compatibility issues in the hours following its Aug. 1 launch.
Of particular interest to developers are the site's gadgets, which are mini-applications that do things like play still photo slideshows or link to a user's favorite Web sites. (The term "gadget" also describes a type of custom tool that can run inside Windows Vista.)
Microsoft has already developed hundreds of these gadgets for Windows Live Spaces. This blog entry on the Spaces Developer Platform explains the appeal of custom gadgets and offers a quick tutorial for developing such gadgets. The first step, naturally, is to get the gadget SDK, which is available here. It does not appear that the gadget page was among the problems reported after the launch of Windows Live Spaces.
To see gadgets at work, check out Carnage4Life Space, the page for Dare Obasanjo, a program manager for Microsoft and one of the developer behind Windows Live Spaces.