Microsoft’s ploy to catch-up with the social nets

27 07 2007

Microsoft was a pioneer when it came to bringing instant messaging into the mainstream, arguably the forerunner to today’s social nets phenomenon. But its MSN portal today looks as if it should be a curiosity unearthed on the Antiques Roadshow. Not for long, if you take at face value comments from Todd Herman, MSN’s director of advertising and biz dev, in this interview.

The piece is peppered with some great observations, such as how NBC’s use of short-form video on the web is attracting viewers who might otherwise shun TV news and “out Tivoing TiVo”, as well as Microsoft’s ‘Project Warhol’, aiming to bring more consumer-generated content to the MSN site. Still, the interview is more than a year old and we’re yet to witness significant delivery against Warhol, an initiative Microsoft have thus far been uncharacteristically enigmatic about.