Microsoft’s Digg-Like Site
Microsoft has been running in beta in some foreign markets a website called MSN Reporter that copies many features from the popular Digg website. On MSN Reporter, users share and rate news, rating them up or down with giant “Kicken!” and “Dumpen!” buttons (translated as “Kick it” and “Dump it”). Currently the site is only available in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Norway, replacing the link to News on MSN.com that in the U.S. points to MSNBC.
Perhaps Microsoft, seeing that the whole MSNBC thing didn’t work out, and that they are barely anymore involved with that network, are developing a new social news site to replace their link to MSNBC.msn.com? Either way, they are only one of many companies using the Digg concept, including Yahoo, who is using a Digg clone to power a user suggestion website. In Yahoo’s case a Digg clone wouldn’t have even been necessary if Digg had provided an API, something sorely missing from that site.
Oh, and apparently it’s pretty easy to spam.
Lots of other stuff:
Other Gadgets: The Gadget Guy site has released their own Gadget, a full-featured, well-designed and customizable one. Definitely worth checking out. Universal Music has released a Windows Media Player Gadget that controls your player and brings music news, upcoming events, and music videos.
Microsoft picked up analyst Michael Gartenberg as an Enthusiast Evangelist. Michael’s such a brilliant and multi-talented guy, only good things are expected.
Somebody wrote a Bittorrent client for Windows Vista Media Center. It uses a Wish List, so you can specify a movie, and when it becomes available, it gets downloaded. There’s also a Sidebar Gadget that lets you schedule recordings for Media Center, as well as browse the Program Guide, even from a different computer.
The winner of the Vanishing Point game was revealed as William Temple of Sacramento, California. William gets all this:
The grand prize package includes a Windows Vista-based, AMD-powered Dell desktop PC; a 24-inch widescreen monitor; a Zune™ digital media player; an Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system; three Games for Windows® game titles; a Microsoft® LifeCam VX-6000 webcam; Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007; and $50,000 cash.
Plus, the real big prize: a trip into space via Rocketplane XP. Solving all those puzzles and watching those weird videos will sent this guy 330,000 miles up above the Earth.
Neowin has some screenshots of Beta 2 of Windows Home Server.
Some reversals at Windows Live: Windows Live Shopping is renamed back to MSN Shopping, and Windows Live Wifi is now MSN Wifi Center and the MSN Wifi Hotspot Locator. It’s not so much a lack of confidence in Windows Live, as it is Microsoft correcting some overbranding of Windows Live. Some things should have stayed MSN, and they’re fixing that. It seems like they’re making some big decisions regarding Windows Live, and I’m just hoping this means there’s more of a level head on branding.