Feeds

Microsoft takes hatchet to YouTube clone

Admitting Failure 2.0

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Microsoft plans to "significantly scale back" its Soapbox service, the would-be YouTube challenger it launched in 2006. Whatever that means.

Speaking with Cnet, Microsoft vice president Erik Jorgensen said that Soapbox's YouTube-like user-generated video setup is just too expensive considering the state of the economy. But he didn't exactly say how Microsoft plans to cut the service's costs.

We've asked Microsoft to explain Jorgensen's statements, and all it gave was more hemming and hawing. "We don’t have anything specific to announce about Soapbox at this time," reads a statement from the company. "We are currently evaluating what the Soapbox brand means to MSN and how it relates to our content strategy.

"Online video is a key part of the MSN experience. Today, MSN Video has 35 million unique users each month, who watch 250 million video streams each month. We remain committed to delivering amazing experiences for consumers while at the same time keeping a keen eye on our business objectives during this tough economic climate."

Redmond launched Soapbox in September 2006, days before Google announced its $1.65bn purchase of the wildly-popular YouTube. Then, just six months later, Microsoft barred new users from the service in order to install anti-piracy filters. After another two months, it reopened, but naturally, it never came close to matching the popularity of its rival - which Google is still struggling to actually make money from.

As we predicted back in the fall, the melting economy has forced Microsoft to re-evaluate attempts to transform itself into some sort of "Web 2.0" outfit, and Soapbox is an obvious place to trim some of the shameless start-up mimicking.

According to CNet, Microsoft will reinvent Soapbox as a place where "bloggers and citizen journalists can post videos relevant to areas in which MSN focuses, categories like entertainment, lifestyle, and finance." So Redmond will pick and choose which videos get posted and which don't. Or maybe not.

First, Jorgensen says that a user-generated free-for-all is too expensive. Then he says he's not so sure. "We haven't decided whether you just continue to support it or whether it is too expensive and out of our focus to do," said Jorgenen, the same man who recently murdered Microsoft Money.

Presumably, Soapbox's YouTube mimicking days are over. But Microsoft can't quite bring itself to say the words. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.