Microsoft announced today that it will extend the Xbox Live Network to the Windows platform, which will connect PC gamers to the booming Xbox Live community.

The program is set to debut this May, along with the PC version of Halo 2. In June, Shadowrun will allow Windows and Xbox 360 players to play against each other.

This move will unite both PC and Xbox gamers with a single identity, gamertag, friends list and list of achievements.

Peter Moore, Corporate Vice President of the Interactive Enertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft believes the benefits of expanding Xbox Live service to Games for Windows users are two fold: It merges the two communities into one demographic and enhances the online experience for PC gamers who have always wanted better game and voice connectivity.

Xbox Live members will automatically gain Games for Windows functionality at no charge. Games for Windows Live introduces the best features of Xbox Live to PC gamers: in-game voice chat, integrated achievements and dedicated servers. Pricing for the Xbox Live service is identical for both platforms.

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