Its finally happened, Microsoft has entered the Blogosphere with a new service thespoke, aimed at programmers in their 20s. The Blog Heralds Microsoft source has told us that that Microsoft was happy with the publicity created by the mywallop rumours, which were used by
Microsoft marketing gurus as a way of testing the waters, and creating a buzz of expectation about a launch. Microsoft is still developing mywallop into a friendster style service, but has decided to pursue thespoke as their first entry into blogging.
The service is free to users, although you must register for a .NET password, and at this stage is only limited in its abilities: The Blog Herald has signed up to check the service out, and screen shots and analysis follow:
View .NET login
View thespoke login screen
Registration is firstly through .NET and then through a specific thespoke login page. There are no instructions on the site at this time as to how to register
View entry screen 1
View entry screen 2
At this stage there is no ability to customise or program the blog other that post messages, link to personal information and read RSS feeds (2.0 only). The interface for text entry is rich, not unlike MS Word, with various short cut buttons for text formatting, sure to appeal to new bloggers and those familiar with Microsoft’s wears.
All in all this first attempt is not going to be any threat at all to major blog players such as TypePad or Google. Our source tells us that there is much, much more in the pipeline however, and that Microsoft may launch multiple blog sites aimed at various communities, just as thespoke is aimed at programmers, each one aimed at taking on the competition through shear weight of numbers. The targeting of sub-sectors one by one may be a drawn out process however, and we believe that it will only be a matter of time that Microsoft launches a mass market blogging product in an attempt to dominate the blogosphere.
UPDATE: Techworld have just run with the story with some extra insider comment