Cast your mind back to November 2011. For those readers here they may remember an article I wrote about a rumored social networking site Microsoft was developing. As Microsoft desperately throws mud at the wall in the hope something will stick, it seems that there is no stone they won’t leave unturned (figuratively speaking). With that in mind, summoning an image of a stone might be a good comparison for Microsoft’s latest venture with, I believe very little chance of being anything other than cold and and lifeless. My original article from 2011 can be found here.
It was only a few years back that Microsoft threw its hands up in the air with its blogging service, leaving thousands of blogger refugees who were picked up by the charity of Word-press when they offered (with Microsoft’s blessing) and easy way to migrate their blogs.
Now it appears Microsoft can take on Facebook (and to a lesser extent G+ and D*) with it’s Socl product. I suppose this is like Bing eh? The Google killer. Forgive me for being skeptical but it appears that Microsoft’s Socl has as much chance of success as Steve Ballmer’s shirt has of remaining dry after one his stage performances.
The firm quietly introduced Socl with almost no fan-fare, perhaps trying to avoid building up expectations only for Socl to fall flat like the Zune and Kin.
And if thats true its the first sensible thing I’ve seen Microsoft do in a long while. Who can forget the “iPhone funeral” to make the release of WP7 onto the market.
Microsoft’s Socl doesn’t seem to compete with Facebook, indeed it allows users to sign in using Facebook accounts. Rather the firm seems to be using it to crowd-source content from around the web.
Of course it doesn’t want to compete with Facebook (if it ever did become more popular then that tact would change in my view) So what we see (or as its suggested in the above quote) is Microsoft doing again what its been rather good at recently – jumping on the back of success of others. One only has to look at Android and the Microsoft “licenses” to see that one Microsoft is very good at riding the good fortune of others. According to the article though it wants to compete with G+ instead which is strange because as far as the average user is concerned, they are the same type of service, albeit from different company. Perhaps the most ironic thing about this whole piece of news is the thought of Microsoft getting social. Who can forget the numerous advocates I’ve challenged (including MVP’s) who have been anything but “social”.
Talking of social though (and maybe adding “anti” to the beginning) people would be very well served reading the posts of Microsoft Advocates that infest comp.os.linux.advocacy. That’s what “social” means to them ;)
Wandering around Microsoft’s Socl, it hard to see how the social network offers anything more than what has been available from its competitors for years.
And thats a rather good observation of Microsoft products as a whole in my view. That’s why we have Microsoft allegedly making more from Android licenses than it does from its own native platform (WP7), why Bing can’t get the better of Google and by the way, wheres the Windows 8 excitement?
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