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back to article Microsoft launches its own 'so.cl' network

On the off chance that you have spare moment left in your life after checking Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, your email and your SMS inbox, Microsoft has launched its very own social network, so.cl. The site's name is pronounced "social". Microsoft has been hinting at so.cl since last …

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FAIL

Oh for goodness' sake

They're clutching at straws, aren't they?

If Microsoft wants to be taken seriously again it needs to strip itself down and stop trying to code its own hair-brained products that duplicate better alternatives available for free. That means:

1) Firing everyone involved in consumer web services and burning their offices down. Nothing they've ever done in that area except hotmail and MSN Messenger has worked, and they're screwing those up now as well.

2) Firing the entire Internet Explorer team, burning their offices down and making the browser in W8 Chromium or Firefox, possibly doing a five-year deal with Google or Mozilla to ensure this works. Sadly, they didn't have the sense to do this before spending a fortune on IE9/10 and somehow coming to the conclusion that restarting the Browser Wars was a good idea.

3) Bundling a copy of Thunderbird for the mail app. See above.

4) Giving up making your employees wear Microsoft T-shirts. That's just mean.

5) Actually installing a system-wide spell-checker. Or just licensing Firefox's.

6) Ditching W8. But it's too late for that as well.

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WTF?

Hey, I'm in love with their new strategy

It's innovative, out-of-the box thinking. Make a social network to catch the falling edge of yet another meme. That's awkward, and social, so it's got a sort of irony going for it. It all fits into a grand theme immense in scope. You're picking at nits because you're listening too closely to one poorly played bagpipe. Step back and admire the intense grandiose cacophonic orchestra of failure building to its discordant crescendo. It's simultaneously horrifying and beautiful. (sniff) It's getting dusty in here. This is performance art man - don't interrupt.

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Alien

Yawn

Yet another pointless and untimely venture from Microsoft.

With the vast resources at Microsoft's disposal, you'd think they'd be able to pay someone creative enough to come up with a half-decent, even marginally original and interesting idea, then give it a name that doesn't sound like it was coined by an insurance salesman on a team building course.

Seriously, everything Microsoft does has a supernaturally high cringe factor. It's like watching a middle-aged politician trying to do a rap song.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yawn

"With the vast resources at Microsoft's disposal, you'd think they'd be able to pay someone creative enough to come up with a half-decent, even marginally original and interesting idea"

Creative works/art lose pretty much all direction when commissioned by outside bodies, because they have to fit an external agenda. It's why council art is always shit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yawn

That's really not fair to middle-aged politicians - Steve Ballmer being Steve Ballmer is far worse than any politician could muster. As evidenced here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8M6S8EKbnU

for those whose brains have been kind and had a selective purge...

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Bronze badge

Re: About that Youtube link

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

'Creation of “rich posts” that suck, in content from numerous sources'...

What else is there to say?

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T J
FAIL

TOO FUNNY!!

This is TOO FUNNY. Like I say, I am counting down to Google buying M$, I am surmising they will make an offer, even if it is only an industry gesture, later this year.

But can you honestly imagine. No I haven't the energy to type it, just imagine nothing but SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM and more SPAM, security leaks, completely mis-attributed information, and total system outages. Like Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm...

This seems like trying to catch up on the ones who are trying to catch up.

Though actually, Facebook is partnering with them on this, so Facebook actually wants to have some kind of "Search Plus Your World" or whatever? Meh. Just as long as you can opt-out...

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rav
Thumb Up

hmmm. they need to name it for what they are trying to do......

WinFace

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Coat

sign in limited

to fb and win live. coat.

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Anonymous Coward

Your MS Social Network Data Lives in ... Chile?

Hmm... the dot-cl -- as in "So.cl" -- domain is for Chile.

Relevant Chilean data protection laws here:

http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_portal_view.aspx?s=latestnews&id=2140

Is there effective enforcement of those laws? Hmmm.....

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Re: Your MS Social Network Data Lives in ... Chile?

Yes, the law is enforced (I live in Chile and work in IT).

But it just the domain that is registered here.

A quick visit to the site shows that the server is in USA.

And if you read the "Tern of Services" (https://www.so.cl/app/terms), you will note a paragraph that says:

"Unless otherwise specified in the service, the service is intended for use within the United States only. "

R

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Anonymous Coward

Already had a social network

We already have a social network, it's called USENET.

If your ISP doesn't have it, it's not a real ISP.

It doesn't require a bunch of bullshit tracking.

That's the beauty.

But the fascist industry whined that it was for child porn.

Gave the fascist ISP's an excuse to drop nntp.

Another Microsoft gated community is not the answer, nor is it healthy.

The USENET messages can be dumped to a unix mbox, good luck with whatever the fuck MS hacks together. Go Sharepoint, and Powerpoint rangers.

Nobody will speak their true mind, which will dim creativity.

The rest of the people will be so fucking full of EGO and stuck up, that you'd be better off hanging out on freenode.

This is the writing on the wall. Nothing but shit will come from Microsoft and Government.

Business after business, and project after project will burn in apathetic buggy flames.

If Microsoft gave a shit about people, they would nullify XP's EOL, or open source it for the betterment of HUMANITY.

They're greedy fucking psychopaths.

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Mushroom

Re: Already had a social network

If Usenet is a Social Network, then my bicycle is a Ferrari.

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Re: Already had a social network

If Usenet is a Social Network, then my bicycle is a Ferrari.

Well . . . is it?

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This post has been deleted by its author

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On the log-in screen I read its name as sod (as per the English usage - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sod_word).

Sums it up for me.

(Withdrew my first post, as I am not privileged enough to be allowed html code, and it looked horrible).

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M$ losing the plot again. Just buy some FB shares or buy Twitter. They should really do a Windows xp r2. I've actually been suprised with ie9. Though heard numerous complaints about sites not working in it.

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Silver badge

MS already owned some of FB before the IPO. They were an early investor iirc.

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FAIL

Built-in FM radio!

Why, oh why, oh why.... etc do Microsoft think the world needs bloody social networking bolted on to searching now? The last thing I want is to announce to the rest of the planet what I've been searching the intarwebs for.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; social networking is the "built-in FM radio" de nous jours:

Back in the 70's, when I was a nipper, transistors were just starting to become cheap enough and small enough to make embedding a tiny FM radio in other gadgets a possibilty. For a few years, you couldn't move for devices trumpetting the fact that they had a "built-in FM radio". They were in pens, watches, calculators, shoes, trouser presses, potato peelers... God knows what else.

They were completely pointless, barely worked and no fucker ever listened to them. Their addition to some doo-dad did however provide a cheap and lazy way for manufacturers to announce 'exciting' new features for their product, without actually innovating anything.

Can you see the similarites?

Practically every app on my phone or tablet has some room for improvement or for adding of new functionality but, half the time, when a new version is announced, all that has been done is the addition of a built-in FM radio "share on Facepuke / Twatter" button, so you can share whatever the hell you do with that app 'with your friends'. I've even seen eBay and Amazon offer the chance for me to announce to the world at large what I've just bought from their respective tat emporiums!

Why does world and wife think that everyone needs to know everything we do. Continually?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Built-in FM radio!

Why do you feel the need to tell everyone what you think about people who want to tell eveyone what they do?

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FAIL

Re: Built-in FM radio!

Telling everyone ?

You do know that the same half dozen eejits are responsible for almost the entire content of these forums, don't you? I'd have a bigger audience if I made my announcement at confession.

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Anonymous Coward

so?

my eyesight is not so good without glasses these days, I read the screen shot as

"Sod needs your permission to do the following."

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Coat

<pedant>

@Mending - So basically you want M$ to sell Linux?

Having said that, I agree whole-heartedly on points 1,5,and 6.

On point 2, yes IE9 is shit and so will IE10 be, but to give up on IE would be one massive loss of face. Also, even if they did, they would never bundle Chromium or Firefox with Windows.

On point 3, same again, there is absolutely no motivation for them to put Thunderbird or any mail client other than their own in Windows. Imho, Outlook 2010 is a really good mail app, and I am currently using OWA as my main client and I am pleasantly surprised by how functional it is.

On point 4, I couldn't give a rats arse if they make their employees dress up as oompa loompas, I highly doubt their clothing has any effect on the quality of the product.

And as for so.cl bringing up a page that looks just like Facebook, it what world does that page look anything like Facebook?

</pedant>

Mine's the one with the copy of "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People through overuse of Pedantry" in the pocket.

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So basically you want M$ to sell Linux?

No, I want them to sell OS X. Ahem.

But seriously, Microsoft has a bad case of Not Invented Here. It insists on creating and then losing vast amounts of money on any number of pointless projects like Bing and probably now this because it needs to be better than anyone else at everything-and then gets humiliated when open source alternatives available for free do the job better. If it either really did know how to make things better than the competition or just got on with making Windows and Office and cut the price I wouldn't get so annoyed-I just resent the fact that when I last bought Office part of my money was being wasted on Bing.

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Coat

but no cigar

Are you certain it's not pronounced soooooo close?

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Silver badge

so.cl???

I read it as 'suckle'.

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Re: so.cl???

I read it as an abbreviation of "so-called" network

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Windows

It seems they got one thing right...

And that's allowing people to use aliases.

Of course I can't tell for sure because after trying to logon using my Live ID I've been told to wait for an approval e-mail hasn't arrived yet.

Another thing which looks reasonable are the privacy rulings. I think its a nice touch that they enhanced the sections which cover privacy themselves so that you can easily read what data they're trying to collect.

Still, I can't help wonder if MS hasn't been looking too much at Google here. You know; limiting access to their environment and getting people to invite each other and so. While it may have worked for Google that is of course no guarantee it will also work for MS.

No bad mouthing intended but I can see it happening now on my end: After a few weeks I finally get an e-mail from this so.cl thing yet totally forgot all about it. "Nah, probably sent by mistake", never to be seen there again....

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Bronze badge

Dilbert covered this

We've seen the "social search" idea before:

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2006-05-13/

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FAIL

If they want it to be pronounced 'social'

Then bloody well call it social. Stop b@stardising punctu@tion in the n@me of looking cool, it makes everything @wkw@rd to Re@d.

Not that it'll matter, it will likely be another (even) less successful Google+. might get a bit of LinkedIn style traction in business if Microsoft can force companies to push it on employees.

I think the next thing that has a chance to be successful in 'social' is the open source distributed model, if someone could design a distributed Facebook clone that handles the website backend on user hosted / controlled servers. Even then that'd be a very slim chance.

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FAIL

Re: If they want it to be pronounced 'social'

Worse, it doesn't even look like "social" as S0C14L might. There are few things more recognised than the full-stop, space, capital letter sequence which this breaks. Its like a poke in the eye.

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Bronze badge

B@stardising punctu@tion?

I'm afraid the paradigm shifted, when you weren't looking.

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Re: If they want it to be pronounced 'social'

*I think the next thing that has a chance to be successful in 'social' is the open source distributed model, if someone could design a distributed Facebook clone that handles the website backend on user hosted / controlled servers.*

There are several major hurdles:

* Any data published needs to be signed by the private key of the account. That alone is ok BUT:

* Needs some centralized system to sign each account and to be able to retrieve it (public key verify) upon demand.

* There won't be any ads, so the centralized system may need to charge per account per year (much like SSL)

* Search will be awkward and slow (or very slow) unless major players like google index the public data.

* private data should be encrypted but shared among the nodes. the keys shall be either obtained by the account owner or the centralized system/repository. Obtaining by the account owner may not require both parities to be only (i.e. the encryption key can be encrypted with the public key of the receiver and distributed among some nodes... or send via email).

* last but not least - writing all that client side in javascript/html5 doesn't seem any practical, so clients for mobile devices are another issue.

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Silver badge

Re: If they want it to be pronounced 'social'

I was thinking more of a decentralised peer-to-peer model. Think of every user having their own website with Facebook style posts / photos / other information on it but where the data defaults to hidden/private/restricted/whatever. The 'network' would only exist in terms of common API's that would allow users to pull posts from all their friends sites when they refresh their homepage.

Authentication would be down to each user, not a central repostitory (how cool would it be if the general public became more aware of cryptokeys?) Critically my data would stay on hosting I (should) control which would let me restrict or shut down access at any time.

I think I'm trying to describe a hybrid offspring of blogging and social networking - not that it matters as this concept is highly unlikely to take off unless the general public suddenly take privacy much more seriously than they do now and acknowledge they should be the customer rather than the product; it's just a framework for social sharing I find attractive.

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Re: If they want it to be pronounced 'social'

You need to have your own data outside a single machine/point to access it worldwide. i.e. other nodes have to 'share' parts of it with multiple redundancies to ensure availability incl. mobile devices.

The data is still unreadable and unmodifiable w/o the encryption keys issued by you.

Such system will be hard to work in a browser w/o installing some local seraver to connect to multiple nodes, fetch the data and present html alike. Also it's hard to make the system responsive enough due to latencies involved connecting hosts all over.

While doable I can't see any takers, it's a relatively large project and the only true value is decentralised, non-spying, ad-free stuff that the vast majority of people using social service care not about.

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FAIL

Take two

If i remember correctly Microsoft had something like this in their long and dodgy past. They had groups that were both open to all, as well as invite only. They also had an excellent forum setup.

Correct me if i'm wrong but didn't Microsoft shit on everyone and close the whole lot down, leaving everyone screwed?

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"Social"?

When I saw the name my first thought was "So Cal".

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Anonymous Coward

Redmond Strikes again

No wonder the Facebook share price is sliding off a cliff. Once this gets going and adds in more features Facebook will be no more

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Happy

so.what

Watch as this makes Google+ look crowded.

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Go

Montage

Even Rocky had a montage.

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Where are software patents when you need them?

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Coat

I don't like this

Does this make me anti-social?

*the one with the apple logo, th@n.ks

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Mushroom

Sounds del.icio.us!

Hurley and Chen scooped by Microsoft???

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WTF?

And Microsoft's new social website wants me to log in with Facebook... Derp?

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Anonymous Coward

If Google did this?

If Google did this would it be an invasion of our privacy?

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Silver badge

Its down already it seems...

SO I have a Live ID which I used. It took them a while but I finally got an e-mail telling me I was invited to join the party.

Halleluja!

So I follow the link (copy/paste) and guess what? "Webpage can't be shown" (IE). When doing this in SeaMonkey I immediately get warnings about redirect loops ("redirection limit for this URL exceeded").

So SeaMonkey refuses to show, MSIE9 simply barfs on me... This is the new social stuff?

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FAIL

And so I finally got on...

I honestly tried to approach this with an open mind considering how I think Windows Live is quite tolerable, Win7 enjoyable and Office 2010 bearable (I also kinda enjoy it but heck).

SO... Its a search engine. Okee...

I search for "Anime" and get several hits I'm not interested in. Ok, so I search for 'Ableton' which is the name of a software company as well as DAW environment. Only to have some nitwit 'tag' my search result as "Windows 8". WTF?

So now there sits a "feed" somewhere which I apparently made; it says "Ableton", it lists some screenshots and other stuff and because it tagged "Windows 8" it also lists a whole lot of Windows 8 crapola.

And of course; one can only "like" things, can cannot "dislike" or "no" vote stuff. Wonderful...

So I eventually find the option to edit my "post" (WTF?!) and remove a tag. Only to get greeted by some weird error message.

And so I eventually managed to remove the entire "post" (what post, I was only trying to use a search engine ?).

Only to have that pesky person all of sudden follow me. Yeah right; I bet to tag more serious stuff I look for as "windows 8".

RIGHT, so that's my experience so far.

And it leaves me wondering: Why the HECK would I want to use this utter and total display of CHAOS instead of my trusty search bar in the browser which gets me to Google or Bing ?

Who cares that when person A searches for item "B" several people might find the time to immediately "like" it and "tag" it. What good does this do ME ?

AND why can't I rant like this on a social network? On Live I can put "Looking at so.cl, WHAT A MESS!" in my status.

As such my conclusion: FAIL!

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Anonymous Coward

"So.cl is an experiment in open search. That means your searches on So.cl are viewable by other So.cl users and will also be available to third parties."

It's bad enough how much potentially embarrassing information about yourself or worse that you can accidentally reveal to Google and whatever third-parties Google sells/gives it search history information to without your realizing it, but now with So.cl you are intentionally linking what you search for with yourself and making that information available to others-- does anyone else see how this could potentially backfire for people? Just think about how many news stories you have heard over the past year where people posted photos or updates of themselves doing stupid, embarrassing, or even illegal stuff on Facebook, didn't set the privacy settings on the post correctly, and then had it come back to bite them through public humiliation, the loss of a job, or in some cases even being arrested? This so.cl "social search" idea has the potential to take this to a whole new level entirely!

Just wait until people start searching in so.cl for such topics as how to treat pubic lice, how to beat tests for illegal drug use, or where to find vinyl S&M bondage gear at the lowest prices, only to realize too late that they accidentally made those searches available to be viewed by their "followers," which could include family, friends, and co-workers. And God forbid should you ever stumble back into your home at 3AM after a night of drinking at bars and start searching for porn on the social search engine. You know, not the "normal" porn that everyone supposedly watches, but that *really* kinky fetish-type stuff that you never tell anybody that you're secretly into. Won't it be a rude awakening from a hangover the next day when you get a phone call from your boss to not come back into work that day, or ever again because they saw on your so.cl feeds what kind of messed up stuff that you searched for while drunk the night before? And gosh, just what would your mother think when she sees it!

Now I am sure that all of you enlightened pillars of knowledge that frequent these forums on The Register would never be so stupid as to slip up and search for such unsavory things on a social search engine like so.cl, but just wait until the vast unwashed mouth-breathing masses get invited to use this new technology-- there will probably eventually be lives ruined and people disgraced by this because they didn't realize some of the potential consequences of what they were doing at the time.

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