Microsoft Temporarily Kills Its Own YouTube Killer

from the cart-before-the-horse dept

Remember Microsoft’s online video site that was supposed to compete with YouTube? Neither did we until we were reminded about it by news that it’s temporarily cutting itself off from new users. Microsoft decided to take this step after the site, called Soapbox, filled up with user-uploaded pirated content (what did they expect?). Microsoft claims that over the next two months it will work on developing better technology to identify and remove unauthorized content. Of course, considering the track record of technology like this, it’s really hard to imagine that two months will prove sufficient. This move seems to fit with Microsoft’s past behavior very well. The company made headlines when it agreed to give Universal Music a cut of every Zune sold, which basically amounted to a tax on future piracy on the part of its users. These actions indicate that Microsoft is far more interested in placating copyright holders than it is in developing services that people actually like. This is a totally backwards strategy. The company’s first priority should be doing well in the market, which neither the Zune nor Soapbox have done, and then it should figure out what, if any, steps it needs to take to ward off piracy.

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Comments on “Microsoft Temporarily Kills Its Own YouTube Killer”

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Neurothustra (user link) says:


I guess the dig at a Microsoft supplied service should be expected from the slanted “journalism” at TD, but I use Sopabox and it’s a superior offering. Much like MS’s Live Space, it’s better than the idea it’s emulating, but neither Live Space or Sopabox has the user-base of MySPace or YouTube (probably would be better if some of the anti-MS yellow journalism would drop the bias and take an objective look). Glad I’ve been a member since beta, it’s a very good video site.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Soapbox

I think that’s the point– MS is offering a quality service, but putting it on the back burner to suck up to the overprotective copywrite-holder types. Criticizing them for that is hardly yellow-journalism (especially because in op-ed format, there’s really no such thing)– it just points out that MS is creating a track record of partnering with big business over it’s user base. Seems pretty legitimate to me.

Jezsik says:

Re: Soapbox

Superior to what, Neurothustra? I’ve never used it, but I’ve used that pig called Live Space. I, for one, don’t want to be stuck with Internet Explorer and detest waiting for my page to load so I probably wouldn’t have liked Soapbox.

As for bias, yeah, I’m biased, but that’s only because I’ve been burned by Microsoft far too many times.

Neurothustra (user link) says:

sorry if you’ve been burned by MS, but I can say that I’ve had negative experiences with a lot of technology I like, I don’t just write it all off. And yes, I do think Live Space is superior – it’s laid out nicer and offers a far better method of customizing the area than MySpace (or many other social sites).
And frankly, I understand why MS is trying to get the litigious corporations to play ball – as TD does accurately point out, organizations like the MPAA and RIAA have a very unsteady grasp on the way technology is moving the entertainment industry. So maybe working with them instead of instantly demonizing them is the best way to move towards a direction that makes everyone happy. Being instantly combative only result it conflict; if we are looking to evolve the way in which content is delivered and controlled, we need to be smart and not act like rebellious high-schoolers.

sha says:

Just because the interface or the design on a site is better doesn’t mean the whole thing is better. A service like myspace or live space is a whole, it includes marketing, communication, and how you treat your users. Obviously Microsoft is lacking in the last area, which is why their services are not “better” than youtube or myspace (otherwise they would have much more users, look at explorer vs netscape)

Bignumone (profile) says:

Anti-MS journalism? Sounds like a religion to me!

Sorry, I have to laugh! Someone b**ching about anti-Microsoft journalism.
This sounds like a “Windows-evangelist” in the “Windows-cult”!
I have not used the product mentioned here, but if it is as mediocre or poor as most of the products I HAVE used, there is a reason they are failing.
Bill Gates once said something to the effect of; At any time, we are with-in 18 months of bankruptcy!
Shall we start the ‘Microsoft death-watch’? Are they now with-in 17 months?
As a person who likes Apple products but is not a zealot, it gives me great joy to listen to members of the ‘Wintel-cult’ complain about the press their religion is getting!
(Now I get to call them zealots and cult members simply because they like the products!!! Cool!)

His Shadow says:

Hard To Believe

When Apple was on hard times, the open glee with which tech journalists constantly repeated every bit of bads news for months on end was a religion in itself, and those who stood up for Apple and it’s products were “zealots”, “Kool-Aid drinkers” and “fanatics”. Now that it has become clear what a joke most of Microsoft’s consumer products and software practices actually *are*, pointing this out makes you a “yellow journalist” and “biased”.

Suck it up, Microsoft Fan Boys. Not a single one of you will find sympathy or comfort except in the arms of other MS drones. Apple has out-innovated Microsoft at every turn and Apple is the hottest tech company going. While Microsoft continues to put corporate greed and monopolistic practices above consumer freedom, you Stockholm Syndrome afflicted MS fan boys can console yourself in the knowledge that Microsoft doesn’t give a single damn about you or your user experience.

Not A Damn.

Mark (profile) says:

MS is not a consumer product company

It’s a little ironic that people still tend to think of Microsoft as a company that develops end-user products. The cash cows in that space are still the Office suite, which has been around for how many years now? In the meantime Microsoft’s strategy has consistently been to court big partners, rather than end-users. Thus the Zune pays a tax to a content holder for every unit sold, the wifi capability was restricted to the point that no one cared about it anymore, Soapbox is being hamstrung, Windows Media dives deeper and deeper into the DRM morass — the litany goes on. That’s Microsoft’s vision: to partner with huge conglomerates, rather than building products that people want to use. It’s a strategy that I think would have failed years ago if it wasn’t for the company’s market dominance, which ironically was built on end-user software. Twenty years from now we might be looking back at the Ballmer era and shaking our heads at the monumentally poor business decisions that were made under that man’s watch.

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