I Know, Let's Copy That YouTube Thing!

from the innovation-outsourced dept

MSN was already seen as something of a leader in online video, but that reputation was forged on its work of securing the rights to commercial programming, then distributing it with advertising. Instead of focusing on this area, Microsoft apparently decided it needed to devote resources to building its own YouTube-a-like, dubbed Soapbox, which it's opened to beta testers. At first glance, there doesn't seem to be anything here that would compel people to use it over YouTube, and it looks like little more than a me-too play. See, the nice thing about YouTube is that it's a fairly open system, allowing users to embed videos in their own sites, like, say, an MSN Spaces blog. So instead of wasting resources to reinvent the wheel and duplicate YouTube's efforts, why not just work on a partnership with them that would let MSN leverage YouTube's existing user base, instead of having to fight the uphill battle of building its own from scratch, while at the same time expanding the market for the ad-supported video content it already has? But why do the smart thing, when you can simply just build another copycat web service that's bound for mediocrity?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 10:18am

    Because....

    But why do the smart thing, when you can simply just build another copycat web service that's bound for mediocrity?

    What ain't broke ought not be fixed!

    M$ continues to do more of the same becuase they keep making more and more money doing more of the same. Why would they want to change that pattern?

     

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  2.  
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    Casual Observer, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 10:44am

    Well duh...

    Anyone who has seen Microsoft's "Live" site has already noticed a striking resemblence to another online search site.

    Apparently imitation is still the highest form of flatery.

     

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  3.  
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    JS Beckerist (profile), Sep 19th, 2006 @ 10:47am

    Then again...

    Even WHEN MS does more of the same (see: Xbox 360, MSN Search, MSDOS, Office...) they tend to dig deep and make a decent product (eventually). I think it's way too early to judge, given it's a BETA! Give it time, I can't wait!

    ...being first does not mean it's the best.

     

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  4.  
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    Grandfather Time, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 10:49am

    ......

    Why is anyone surprised that a company built on stealing ideas is still doing the same?

     

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  5.  
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    Philip, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 10:59am

    No using Media Player?

    From the screen shot, it looks like they are using a flash player. I'm actually quite shocked. Does MS not have enough confidence to push Media Player onto their site viewers? Almost everything else they've tried always made an attempt to capitalize on Windows components.

    But why do the smart thing, when you can simply just build another copycat web service that's bound for mediocrity?

    MS built their entire business on copying. Why would it fail on them now?

     

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  6.  
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    Drama2Sell, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 11:02am

    Format?

    I take it that Microsoft is probably not using the Flash Video format :)

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 11:02am

    Re: ......

    That's a rather brazen accusation.

    Just what did they STEAL?

    Stealing is a crime, so far as I know, Microsoft has never been found guilty of theft. So do you have evidence of this as-of-yet-undisclosed theft that you would like to disclose?

    Or are you just trolling cause its popular to bash the one with the money?

     

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  8.  
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    chris (profile), Sep 19th, 2006 @ 11:12am

    three words: embrace, extend, extinguish

    i haven't even read the article and i know exactly what this will look like in 3 years:

    right now it uses flash, or avi, or some other "open" format. (they're not open, but are more open than WMA/WMV).

    IE, office, vista, IIS, windows media player, ASP.NET, and windows messenger include support for emailing, embedding, sharing, and restricting videos (in any format).

    vista or the first vista service pack ships with XMovie that lets you edit movies for free and save the results in WMV.

    IE, office, vista, IIS, windows media player, ASP.NET, and windows messenger stop supporting the emailing, embedding, sharing, and restricting videos in any format, and now only support WMV. oh, and now you need to log in to PassPort to view content on SoapBox.

    but don't worry, it's cool, you get XMovie (or MooV, or whatever ridiculous name they give it) for free with windows.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 11:36am

    If I were Microsoft, I would put more effort in building a more open-source system which is reliable and afforadable for advanced users. But then, microsoft would be accused of stealing Linux idea, lol

     

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  10.  
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    Asif, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 12:02pm

    I am not crazy about how microsoft does business but we might be too hard on them sometimes....

    I mean aren't all the big companies stealing ideas?

    Google has bought many small companies and is not leveraging their work to become bigger...

    They copied :
    msn and yahoo for search engine
    mapquest for maps
    aol for their version of messenger
    hotmail for gmail
    utube tyoe websites for google videos...etc

    I think copying can be better coz atleast then we have more choice and competition.

     

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  11.  
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    Casual Observer, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    Taking an idea, and improving on it is okay. All of the examples you provided prove that.

    But please, go to www.live.com and tell me that the idea about design, layout, and content was desined to be a competitive improvement, or if it was a just a Lionbot masquerading as Voltron.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Using SOAP to provide continous scrolling of results without have to "Page Next" is a competitive improvement on the user interface.

    Using dhtml with CSS tool tips to provide larger images on mouseover of icons is definitely a competitive improvement on the user interface.

    There, that answers your design and layout criteria.

    Content? Its search results. How can content be designed as a competitive improvement? You want their results to be better than google? That is a matter strictly of opinion, and in many opinions the results at live.com are significantly better than the resutls at msn.com prior to the launch of live.com.

     

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  13.  
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    aReader(), Sep 19th, 2006 @ 12:39pm

    Missing the boat?

    Microsoft missed the Internet boat by few years. They never thought that this Internet thing is going to take off. They don't want to take chances. They want to make sure that they have a product/feature/offfering that maps to whatever is popular in this Internet thing. It is as simple as that. Yes, they can innovate around it, but they have been asked not to miss the boat.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 12:45pm

    Netscape?

    Does anyone remember when Netscape was the dominant browser and Microsoft released this little program called Internet Explorer? Let's not underestimate their ability to enter a market and turn it upside down Who cares about innovation when you've got tenacity and deep pockets?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Missing the boat?

    The internet is not a truck.

    But apparently, its a boat.

     

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  16.  
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    Mr. Lucas Brice, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: ......

    By your logic, OJ never killed anyone because he was never found guilty, Robert Blake never killed anyone because he wasn't found guilty, and Michael Jackson never diddled young boys because he wasn't found guilty. Really, you are going to have to come up with a better argument than that.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: ......

    .....

    If you believe otherwise, you got some proof?

     

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  18.  
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    Shohat, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 2:12pm

    You can't be that stupid

    Seriously . You want ONE video service for the entire Internet ? That's it ? Nobody should ever start another video sharing site ?
    How about only one blogging platform ? Or just one community site ? How about just one news site , and that's it .
    I know ! Lets just have one online store .
    God frigging dammit . People read your nonsense you know .

     

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  19.  
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    Jake Lockley, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 2:24pm

    They Once Owned It

    ThePlatform.com, which is YouTube for businesses and as far as I know came out before YouTube and was pitched by MS's own employees to MS who then left to start the company when MS didn't want to do it. (first right of refusal I guess).

    Someone really needs to interview ThePlatform. As far as I can tell MS employees invented YouTube.

    What most of you don't seem to get is that MS is a big brand and there is plenty of marketshare to go around. If I want to promoe a video I'll post it everywhere I can in order to reach my market wherever they are.

     

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  20.  
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    Michael Grimm, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 3:08pm

    2nd mover advantage

    I swear, no one on the Internet seems to know about a little thing called 'second mover advantage'. Look it up on wikipedia or something - it's encompasses Microsoft's whole business-level strategy. And guess what, it's a legitimate strategy and it works well for them. So get used to it and quit bitching about 'copying'. Shohat is dead-on. Competition is awesome for consumers, businesses, and especially techies.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 3:22pm

    If they'd allow chicks to show nipples, they'd end up winning hands down. There's money in boobs.

     

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  22.  
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    Not so Casual Observer, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 3:44pm

    Re: 2nd mover advantage

    Michael, seriously. Anyone with half a brain understands that competition isn't good for everyone. Competition only benefits those on the upper echelon of business. Those without the power or capital to compete, get eaten up. Eventually, this leaves the consumer with even less of a choice than before.

    Don't buy into the belief that your life is better of because a company like Microsoft or Wal Mart has told you it was.

    Think for yourself.

     

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  23.  
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    Grandfather Time, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re: ......

    you dont have to be prosecuted or detained to have commited a crime......... just look at the story of D.B. Cooper......

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 4:26pm

    please steal myspace too as the server is slooooooow!

     

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  25.  
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    Michael Grimm, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: 2nd mover advantage

    I'm sorry Casual Observer, but you're wrong. There is always a choice. If you think Microsoft and WalMart are your only options, you need to get out more or at least watch some more TV. I see Apple Computer and Old Navy commercials all the time.

     

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  26.  
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    Casual Observer, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: 2nd mover advantage

    Michael, I know there are many "choices" for me, but I live in a major metropolitan city. Things tend to be more progressive in such places. However, that unfortunately isn't the case in most of the country / world.

    And just because there seem to be viable "alternatives", don't think they're not somehow connected to the machine.

    http://www.theyrule.net

     

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  27.  
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    Reed, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 7:15pm

    Your joking right?

    "Even WHEN MS does more of the same (see: Xbox 360, MSN Search, MSDOS, Office...) they tend to dig deep and make a decent product (eventually). I think it's way too early to judge, given it's a BETA! Give it time, I can't wait!

    ...being first does not mean it's the "

    Dig deep and make a decent product? More like release crap on the broken window theory so they can fix it later. I can't actually believe your a real person with a unreal opinion, but truth is stranger than fiction.

    (BTW I am suuure your saying the same thing about the bloat/vapoware that is Vista, I cry for your soul)

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Your joking right?

    Microsoft gets a lot of crap for no reason. Yea, Windows unsecure. Yet it was also written for almost anybody to write a program or driver for it. You're going to be unstable if you try to leave it as open to modification as they do. You can't have stability and flexibility at the same time. it's not possible. Linux may crash, but I can't do #$%& on a Linux because it doesn't do everything I want it to. Windows actually can do everything I need it to. It may not be the best at all of them, but it at least *can* do all of them. Stop hating another system just because you don't like it. A Windows system has advantages that a Linux does not. The same vice versa. Why can't people just realize that its really just a matter of style and opinion. It depends on what you wanna do and how you wanna do it.

    and wtf does your sentence, "I can't actually believe your a real person with a unreal opinion, but truth is stranger than fiction," even mean? "unreal opinion"? and what truth are you talking about?? You can't even string together a competent thought worth trying to understand... why would I let you dictate what system I want to use?

    Let people choose. If they're not satisfied with what they have, they'll look for something else. If it were actually so bad, people would switch systems and Windows wouldn't have a tremendous market share. Simple observation.

     

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  29.  
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    k, Sep 19th, 2006 @ 9:04pm

    yeah..

    good idea..sadly, that would mean cooperating, and possibly not being able to take credit for "their brilliant idea" >.>

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 1:24am

    Cause it's easier for the average person then YouTube. Jeez. This anti-ms who cares about it's merits play is really... really ... stupid!

     

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  31.  
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    Philip, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 7:59am

    Re: 2nd mover advantage

    Not all markets can support competition. Think of it this way: when a market is about providing products to the consumer, competition helps the consumer: lowers prices, provides choices. When the market is about building a community, competition does not help the consumer, but rather splits communities and causes consumers to go against each other.

    YouTube is an example of the market that's trying to build a community. The whole model relies on the consumers and their contributions. It'll benefit the web most if major companies can work with YouTube to extend the services instead of splitting the consumers/community in efforts to build their own clone.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Reed, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Your joking right?

    "Microsoft gets a lot of crap for no reason. Yea, Windows unsecure"

    Try not to defeat your own arguement before you start.

    "Linux may crash, but I can't do #$%& on a Linux because it doesn't do everything I want it to. Windows actually can do everything I"

    Windows can do everything? Please, you can do anything with Windows Bill Gates wants you too and that's it. Ever try to pop your HD out and put it in another computer, works fine with open source operating systems, but I guess Windows still does everything right? Pathetic.

    "and wtf does your sentence, "I can't actually believe your a real person with a unreal opinion, but truth is stranger than fiction," even mean? "unreal opinion"? and what truth are you talking about?? You can't even string together a competent thought worth trying to understand... why would I let you dictate what system I want to use?"

    Man, your real worked up! BTW why do you have such a hard-on for Linux? Sounds like you need to spend some more time examining what is real and what you have been told.

     

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  33.  
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    Rod Boothby, Sep 21st, 2006 @ 10:20pm

    The Enterprise Needs a YouTube Type Tool

    Business users need a real YouTube type tool. Hvae you seen how back enterprise video technology is today. Check out Kontiki. It is a total piece of junk. Hard, slow, ugly and zero participation.

    Whether it is for internal training, archiving a video conference, or reducing the costs associated with customer training, there are plenty of reasons why big and small companies would like to be able to deliver video in a way that is as easy and as powerful as YouTube.

    It makes good sense that Microsoft and YouTube would both start to try and play in this space.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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