There are several additional things we’ve been working on from a user experience perspective. We’ll cover these in more detail in subsequent posts but they include:

  • Conditionally showing the sign in button if the user has recently signed into Windows Live ID (more technical info)
  • Registration forms can be customized based on the email address the user entered. E.g. if a user typed (or any other email address in a Windows Live namespace) the registration form could be tweaked to encourage use of Messenger Connect (more technical info)
  • Inbound traffic such as email marketing/invitations to addresses or Messenger social updates could include some parameters to tell the web site “the user came from Windows Live” to encourage them to sign in/sign up quickly using Messenger Connect (remember when Plaxo got 92% conversion?)

For more information about the underlying technology of authentication, see this post or this page.

My contacts/relationships are part of my identity too

Another thing we’ve heard from customers, and observed on the web, is that customers want to be able to automatically find their friends on a web site or be able to invite them to a site via email. Historically the Windows Live Contact API enabled users to take their entire address book with them to another web site for the purposes of friend finding (indexed by email) and friend inviting (by sending an email), or in very specific circumstances migrating their address book.

We believe in these scenarios, they are important, and we think they add value to users and partners. However, we also believe in sharing the minimum amount of data required to let a user complete a desired action (more info). To that end, in the near future, we will deprecate the existing Windows Live Contacts API and remove email addresses from the Messenger Web Toolkit JavaScript Object Model. We will post more information regarding the specific timelines and what this means if you are using these interfaces. Moving forward, access to the entire address book (including email addresses of a Windows Live user’s contacts will be restricted (more info). We are working hard on building public APIs (subject to the Terms of Use) to enable the find my friends by email address & invite via Email APIs – look for another post on this topic in the near future.

Angus Logan (@anguslogan)
Senior Technical Product Manager
Windows Live