Renaming != killing.
New names for stuff:
Windows Live ID, Passport
SkyDrive app, SkyDrive Desktop
SkyDrive app, Office app
FolderShare, Live Mesh, Windows Live Mesh
Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express
Windows Live Mail, Windows Calendar
Integrated in Hotmail and SkyDrive
Photos app, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker
Photos app, Camera Roll
REST, JSON (via SkyDrive)
Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker
Many of these services existed before and outside of live (LiveID/Accout = .netPassport; WL Hotmail = MSN Hotmail; Contacts = MSN Messenger integrated with Outlook Express' address book; Messaging = MSN Messenger). Windows Live is only the branding. I never intended to suggest Microsoft was killing (all) the services. (Although I found an enjoyable irony in using the term "Death" in this case...)
The fact is they ARE killing the Live brand. It's a substantial shift in concept - the purpose of the original Windows Live applications (later "Windows Live Essentials") was specifically to remove features such as email client, messaging client etc. out of the OS. Tying these back in with the OS is a paradigm shift significant enough to be considered the death of the concept of Windows Live.
I'm not even suggesting this must be a bad thing if Microsoft do it right this time. It would be a bad thing if they'd done Windows Live right, but they never did.
From the original article on the Building Windows 8 blog:
"For customers who use Windows 7, we have a set of Windows desktop apps, including Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, Messenger, Family Safety, and our recently released SkyDrive for the Windows desktop."
Doesn't sound like they plan to move everybody to a web interface.
"Our current platform is currently current". That's all that can be inferred from the above. Of course the applications won't stop working just because Microsoft stops supporting them. It doesn't mean they haven't essentially discontinued WL essentials (the new Windows 8 apps are a part of Windows and, from what I gather, not on feature parity with their predecessors).