In fact, the "What's New with Your Network" screenshot is from my wife's Hotmail logon. As you say, it's also on her Windows Live login page.
> These are folks who've been actively invited into or asked to join your WL network.
See, that's my problem. They're not folks who have been invited to join her WL network. She doesn't have a WL network - never used Windows Live, doesn't have a Windows Live Spaces account. These people are selected from Windows Messenger buddies. At no point did my wife or her buddies say "Dear Microsoft, you may collect information about me and display it on my buddy's Hotmail login page."
>Inviting someone to chat via Messenger does not necessarily add them to your WL network either, unless you click the wrong option when accepting the chat request
Not true. If you have a copy of my Windows 7 All-In-One For Dummies book handy, there are screen shots of exactly what you agree to when you ask someone to become your Messenger buddy, and what your buddy agrees to, should they accept. (See Figure 7-8 on page 577.) Although both screens say, "Messenger contacts are part of your network on Windows Live," there's absolutely no indication of what that entails. Certainly, neither of the screens say anything like, "Dear Microsoft, you may collect information about me and display it on my buddy's Hotmail login page."
>this is a public comment left on a (presumably) public SkyDrive file, much like a comment on someone's blog
Once again, not true. I don't doubt that I left that comment somewhere - but I can't find it, using any search engine, so I don't know where it came from. I've never accessed a SkyDrive file. Never posted anything on anyone's personal blog (although I have posted on Microsoft blogs, even as an MVP). I don't know who Kim is, and I only have a guess as to what PDF file is being referred to. In short, Microsoft mined this information from somewhere, mashed it so it isn't factually correct, and then dished it up on my wife's Hotmail login page.
>Well, I'm pretty sure I received several e-mail notices from Microsoft about the changes, and the first time I logged into WL, I received several pop-up notifications.
I don't doubt that for a second, but my wife has never logged on to Windows Live. She's used Windows Messenger briefly. She logs into Hotmail. And that's it.
I've corresponded with Microsoft's reps, and they inform me that the Hotmail login screen was changed in February 2009, after which time the login sequence shows the What's New with Your Network pane. That may well be true, although PBear (see earlier post in this thread) says he still doesn't see the WNWYN pane. I never noticed it - I log in to Hotmail infrequently, and changes to the screen don't register. The only way this came to my attention was when my wife came into my office and said, "Who's Kim?"
What Microsoft's doing is unconscionable. Facebook is drawing fire today from several Senators. Google got hit hard with its changes to Buzz. Microsoft, in my opinion, is doing something equally objectionable - although admittedly different.
There's nothing inherently wrong with social networking, as long as everybody understands the ground rules. Signing up to be a Windows Messenger Buddy means that you know the other person's id, and you can see their picture and whatever else they may willingly broadcast. Fine. That's part and parcel of messaging. But becoming a Buddy doesn't mean that Microsoft should be able to mash up inaccurate information about you and serve it to your Buddy six months later, as part of their Hotmail login.