Microsoft online branding issue

LiveSide took a look today at all the different bits of Microsoft’s Live.com search universe and found that it doesn’t provide a common, unified experience. LiveSide found four different search boxes, two different Live.com “orb” logos (in four different sizes), and six different header backgrounds. While the slight differences in design may not be a very substantial issue, it is indicative of the confusion Microsoft has created around their Live brand.

MSN Hotmail vs. Windows Live Mail vs. Windows Live Hotmail…. Many names for the same service. It seems they have settled on Windows Live Hotmail, but there is still a lot of overlap in the Windows Live family that makes it confusing for consumers.

The design differences across the Live Search sites highlighted today on the LiveSide blog may be minor, but taken as a whole they’re a good metaphor for the branding confusion that Microsoft has created across its collection of online sites and services.

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