Apparently Microsoft has a great sense of timing or they decided to roll the car out of the garage at an ironically good time. The MSN gang sent out a mass email to beta subscribers today to stand on their Soapbox
...the same day that Google agreed to fork over $1.65 billion for YouTube
My beta invite arrived late this afternoon and I heard from several people who got the same email today. One of the folks I used to work with at Sidewalk.com
is on the Soapbox team up in Redmond. He said they burned the midnight oil for the past few weeks getting this product out the door.
As we have been talking about on the radio show for a while Soapbox is Microsoft's attempt at the video sharing craze. In typical MS form, it may be a little too little and a little too late. YouTube
is the category killer here (see also iPod:Zune, AIM:MSN Messenger, Netscape:IE).
I just uploaded a few videos to my Soapbox account to test the process. I had a few issues with some formats - an .avi file did not seem to load on the site but this is why it is in beta mode. It supposedly will publish video from "any major digital video format (AVI, ASF, WMV, MOV, MPEG 1/2/4, 3GPP, DV, H.263, H.264)." Like YouTube it uploads relatively fast and there is a waiting period of at least several minutes while it is processed on their servers.
Interface seems pretty clean and some people are already using it as I received a comment on a video within a matter of minutes after uploading them. And like YouTube it is possible to embed the videos in any web page like this:
To see some of my other videos do a search on my name once you get in to the Soapbox website. I promise I will come up with more compelling video soon. If not I'm turning my video camera over to my kids.
Labels: Microsoft, Soapbox, YouTube