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Microsoft today confirmed plans to stop using the “Windows Live” brand for its online services, as the new version of its operating system, Window 8, incorporates more of those services by default.

The move had been widely anticipated after previews of Windows 8 omitted the phrase.

For example, the new operating system will let people use what was formerly known as Windows Live IDs to log into their computers. In addition, what was previously called Windows Live SkyDrive will be incorporated into Windows 8. However, they will be known simply as Microsoft accounts and SkyDrive.

Microsoft vice president Chris Jones outlined the plan in a blog post today.

Windows 8 provides us with an opportunity to reimagine our approach to services and software and to design them to be a seamless part of the Windows experience, accessible in Windows desktop apps, Windows Metro style apps, standard web browsers, and on mobile devices. Today the expectation is that a modern device comes with services as well as apps for communication and sharing.  There is no “separate brand” to think about or a separate service to install – it is all included when you turn on your PC for the first time.

Windows Live was introduced in November 2005, and the branding caused confusion with the company’s longtime MSN Internet brand.

The confusion manifested itself in other ways, as well. For a short period, for example, the company went so far as to rebrand Hotmail as Windows Live Mail, before shifting back to Windows Live Hotmail. Now it’s just Hotmail again.

Suddenly my “live.com” email address feels like a collector’s item.

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