Today I was browsing Windows Live QnA and stumbled across one the user pages (shown below) and realized that we've finally shipped the Windows Live friends list to another web property besides Windows Live Spaces
This is one of the coolest things about working on platform technology, you ship it once and it gets used all over the place. When I first started working on the social networking for Windows Live along with Mike Torres and others, we strongly believed that Social Networking features should be an integrated part of all of our online experiences instead of just being part of a single "social networking" site. The friends list isn't just a feature of Windows Live Spaces or Windows Live Messenger, it's a feature of Windows Live.
Another principle we've had is that anywhere you see a user in a Windows Live property, there should be multiple ways to interact with that user via the 'contact control' shown above. One of these ways is to add an entry point for viewing that user's friends list or adding that user to your IM or friends list [NOTE: you can opt out of having people spam you using this mechanism]. This is a part of our user experience platform which Jay and Neel have been working on for a while. Encouraging multiple ways for people to interact should be a key aspect of social software applications.
It's been almost two years since I started at
MSN Windows Live and one of the best things about working here is that I've rarely had to argue with people about fundamental principles of what the user experience we provide should be. Our debates are more around when to ship the features and how to implement them than anything else.