Live Connect will give apps easy access to your SkyDrive, Messenger and Calendar

One of the issues which has prevented the wide use of Live features like SkyDive was poor or absent APIs for 3rd party developers, leading to the rise of alternate services like Dropbox which embraced developers.

That is now set to change, with Microsoft announcing Live Connect at BUILD yesterday.

The new SDK is based on the REST APIs for Windows Live and will provide 3rd party developers access to:

SkyDrive: There are billions of photos and documents stored by millions of users in SkyDrive today. You can integrate users’ photos, videos and documents into your experiences with Live Connect. You can enable scenarios such as:

  1. Access to Photos: Connect your app, device or site to SkyDrive to let users upload, view, share or print photos from within your experience
  2. Access to Documents: Connect your app, device or site to SkyDrive to let users open, save, access, and share documents from within your experience

Hotmail: With the API you can integrate great Hotmail features into your site, app or device to drive user engagement. Check out these examples of what you can do with the API:

  1. Save to Calendar: You can have users save calendar appointments to their Hotmail calendar and remind them of important events in the future – this will help drive users back to your experience and keep you top of mind.
  2. Friend Finding: You can help a user identify which of their Hotmail contacts and friends are already members of your site or app and ask them to become friends in your experience. This will let you strengthen your sense of community and enable more sharing and socializing in your app or website.

Messenger: Windows Live Messenger is the most widely used Instant Messenger service in the world, using the APIs you can leverage it in your website. Here are a couple of ways you can integrate with this great service:

  1. XMPP Interface : You can integrate Messenger into your Web-based, desktop, or mobile instant messaging products by connecting to our XMPP service.
  2. Status Update: Update a user’s status to let their friends know that they are enjoying your website or app and help drive new users to your experience.
  3. Sharing Badge: With a couple lines of code, the sharing badge lets your users share your content with their friends in Messenger and Hotmail on the web, client and mobile devices. Through this large network your content and experience is more discoverable by new users.

The availability of access to a  service which has half a billion active users already will likely lead to significant adoption, especially on Windows 8.

The service is expected to go live in November. Find out more about Live Connect by visiting, and sign up for technical preview here.