MS Plans Windows Live Answer Service

Microsoft confirmed Friday that it plans to debut a new Windows Live service in the coming months that would allow users to ask questions and receive responses from fellow users. Additionally, the answers to these questions would be searchable.

Called Windows Live QnA, the service will allow for users to vote for the best answers and respondents, which would help users decide which answers are likely the most reputable and who has consistently provided high-quality answers.

"Windows Live QnA gives us an opportunity to showcase unique knowledge - provided, filtered, rated and approved by human beings - not available anywhere else," Windows Live community program manager Betsy Aoki said. "We want to build the biggest, friendliest and most helpful community of smart humans the world has ever seen."

The service is similar to Yahoo! Answers, which launched in December, and Google Answers, which also debuted last year. All services follow basically the same premise.

"[Windows Live QnA] is currently being tested internally at Microsoft and will be initially be available in an invite-only public beta," a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews. Those interested in the beta can sign up from the Windows Live Ideas page.

Ultimately, Microsoft plans to integrate the feature with Windows Live Search. Thus, this Windows Live service will eventually piggyback on top of another existing Live feature, rather than exist as a stand-alone product.

Sources have told BetaNews previously that many of the Windows Live projects currently in development are not intended to stay as standalone offerings.

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