Microsoft works towards Live, Windows integration

In a move that might cause alarm bells to go off at the European Commission, Microsoft has taken the first steps towards integrating its Live online services into Windows. Through a new SDK due out later this year, it will become possible for developers to use Microsoft's Live ID authentication service in their Windows applications. This integration will allow users to log in via Microsoft's servers from inside third-party software.
For example, a developer could write a Windows application that has a button for buying from an e-commerce site. The Windows Live ID authentication window could pop up from within the Windows application to verify an end user's security credentials.
Microsoft won't stop there, either. Executives quoted by CNet say the company will "release more application programming interfaces and tools to encourage third-party developers to write Live applications that tie into Windows." The long-term goal is for online Live services to complement Windows software, hitting what Microsoft feels is a pragmatic middle-ground between a complete move to web-based apps and a preservation of traditional software.
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