Microsoft’s Soapbox Headed For The Wastebin

    July 21, 2009

It looks like Microsoft may be narrowing its focus in the field of video-sharing.  MSN Video will live on, but Soapbox is bound for the trashcan.

Soapbox was often referred to as a YouTube clone with stricter views on copyright.  It was responsible for only a small percentage of Microsoft’s overall video streams, and of course even that total doesn’t compare favorably to the numbers posted by sites like YouTube, MySpace, and Hulu.

So it makes sense that Erik Jorgensen, MSN’s corporate vice president and chief  media and technology officer, told Ina Fried and Stephen Shankland, "We have decided to shut down the Soapbox feature.  Beginning today, July 21, we will be notifying both our customers and our internal and external partners that on July 29th, people will no longer be able to upload videos to Soapbox and on August 31st, the service will no longer be available."

That should give users a reasonable amount of time to rescue their content, while also letting Microsoft cut its losses in the near future.

What’ll be interesting to see is whether Microsoft has some Bing-branded video offering in the works, or if the company will be content to let things stand as they are.