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Microsoft Launches Social Network 153

Posted by Zonk
from the bill-is-your-buddy dept.
prostoalex writes "Inspired by the fast growth of social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, Microsoft is launching a test version of its own social network. Wallop brands itself as 'the exclusive social experience,' and is technically a separate company, a startup that's based on technologies developed by Microsoft Research. As far as revenues, Wallop 'plans to sell graphics and other features people can use to decorate their personal profile pages,' says MSNBC."
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Microsoft Launches Social Network

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:36AM (#16200923) Homepage Journal

    Wallop brands itself as 'the exclusive social experience', and is technically a separate company, a startup that's based on technologies developed by Microsoft Research. As far as revenues, Wallop 'plans to sell graphics and other features people can use to decorate their personal profile pages'

    Exclusive? I suppose the old invite a friend to join thing is the barrier to keeping seedier people (like most slashdotters and OSS & Linux evangelists) out.

    'Sell graphics and other features ...' Hey, I've got an idea. Why not just build your own website and run a blog on it. Sounds cheaper and more exclusive.

    'technologies developed by Microsoft Research' Does this mean there will be an endless parade of vulnerabilities and patches? That's what I associate with their technologies, based upon a very well established track record. I see it features Flash on the home page. What happened to Microsoft's alternative to that?

    Late to yet another dance, Microsoft attempts once again to show they brought the best date. Not a bad looker, but just don't ask about the white streaks in her hair and the bolt in her neck...

    in soviet russia invite wallops YOU!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is retarded. How many people are really going to pay for things that they can do for free on other sites that are well established.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by ackthpt (218170) *

        This is retarded. How many people are really going to pay for things that they can do for free on other sites that are well established.

        You dummy! Can't you see it's exclusive! That's one of the world's best moustraps. Say something is exclusive and people will fall all over themselves (some more casually than others) to get at it.

        Of course, this strategy only works a few times in brighter people. But I'm sure there's enough people in the world who would fall for the 'exclusive' bit to keep Wallop i

      • by Pollardito (781263) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @12:33PM (#16201761)
        after a thorough review of myspace i have determined that the people there don't really want attractive graphics, so i agree that this business model is not very sound
    • Sell graphics and other features ...' Hey, I've got an idea. Why not just build your own website and run a blog on it. Sounds cheaper and more exclusive.

      Yeah, I can see this becoming a hotbed of hotlinking in an awful hurry...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by generic-man (33649)
      "The old invite a friend to join thing" is exactly what Google did with Orkut, what Friendster did, and what every other site does if they don't want millions of spambots creating accounts. (And if spambots DO create accounts, you have handy chains that you can use to ban them en masse.)

      Secondly, there's already a cottage industry of layouts, graphics, etc., for sale on MySpace. Microsoft wants to tap into it firsthand, is all.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ackthpt (218170) *

        they don't want millions of spambots creating accounts. (And if spambots DO create accounts, you have handy chains that you can use to ban them en masse.)

        Still, you can guess there are people sitting in rooms, willing to defeat this scheme so they can include their pharma ads, pump & dumps and other schlock.

      • I'm working on a nightclub site here in Ireland; I'm thinking of making some free content for bebo or myspace that we'd gibe away for free from our site- certainly a flashbox of some description, or a piece of video and possibly a sensible theme for one of those two sites, if that's possible. I can't imagine selling a skin or piece of content to someone, but I see it as a useful way to give someone something that is associated with your brand.

        I'm also considering creating a chatroom accessible from a beb
      • by killjoe (766577)
        SomeRandomCompany: "Hey look what I did!. You see how cool and l33t it is!"

        RestOfTheWorld: "Hey that's cool as long as it's free I will use it and like it"

        Microsoft: "Me too!"
    • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @12:24PM (#16201599) Homepage
      OK so I click on the link and what do I see... no useful content whatsoever, just some marketspeak about an 'exclusive social experience'. Why would I bother spending five minutes to sign up? Wikipedia shows how to do it right: the front page is interesting reading, regularly updated, full of featured articles and 'did you know' to draw people into the site.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Andrewkov (140579)
        It's "exclusive" in the sense that all your friends are over on MySpace.
      • by Jugalator (259273)
        OK so I click on the link and what do I see... no useful content whatsoever, just some marketspeak about an 'exclusive social experience'. Why would I bother spending five minutes to sign up?

        Besides a refreshingly new social experience, you would gain a vista of networking services that would allow your mind to focus on global interaction in close, yet broad, human networks. The safe and free environment would embrace your personality with rich media content as well as allow you to easily express this to yo
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @12:31PM (#16201729) Homepage
      late to another dance is even worse. Second life launched their Teen second life and it is growing like crazy. The fact that kids can "buy" land and build their own "crib" is growing faster than even facebook or myspace is. My daughter was in on the first day it started and she mentioned that not only is land prices soaring but the number of new people is drastic every day. The fact you can "broadcast" you music in your area to friends is really cool and the 3d aspect makes it feel a bit more high tech.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Exclusive? I suppose the old invite a friend to join thing is the barrier to keeping seedier people (like most slashdotters and OSS & Linux evangelists) out.

      It's probably just an attempt at reverse psychology. Tell people they can't get in because it's exclusive, and people will want in. It worked for Gmail, but I don't think it'll work here.

    • by pete6677 (681676)
      Stockholders want to hear current buzzwords. Apparently "revenue stream" is not one of them, but "social networking" is. This explains why every idiot with some spare cash that wants to create a Web 2.0 business decides they're going to make it big on "social networking" without really understanding what its about or why it would succeed.
    • Social networking meme is peaking, the rate of change has topped out. Microsoft misses the boat again!

      http://www.realmeme.com/roller/page/realmeme/?entr y=blog_rss_meme_update [realmeme.com]
    • The original Korean Cyworld is a huge success... and they charge for every little thing. I think it's a similar idea and it's proven that it can work in certain markets.
  • Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

    Microsoft should have this monopoly nailed down shut.
    • Wait, I just got an invite from Microsoft Bob. Who should I pay for this privlege?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ackthpt (218170) *

      Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

      Don't you see? It's exclusive and you are on the outside.

      You want to be on the inside, don't you? Lotsa fun in there. Bet it's better than whatever's going on behind the green door. Wow! Too bad you don't have an invite! Gosh, what you're missing out on.

    • I like how -It doesn't fit onscreen unless maximized. -It whisks you off to "wallopcorp.com". That'll go over great. -You're supposed to email them and tell them why you should be invited, but they forgot to tell you any of their criteria for who gets invited. I think I'll say "you should invite me because I weight 130 pounds"
  • Ouch! (Score:5, Funny)

    by atrader42 (687933) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:39AM (#16200969)
    I can't exactly picture joining a service entitled "Wallop", no matter how many friends I have on there...it sounds pretty painful!
    "Hey Joe! I just walloped you!"
    "Ow! Screw you!"
    • by joe 155 (937621)
      I can't imagine joining either (no matter how many people Wallop me). Not only because it sounds terrible, but because I'll never consider it "cool" to be associated with a mega-corporation who seem to have a pathalogical hatred for open source software and because all these sites seem to be bad ideas.

      I don't get why anyone would care what music I like listening to or how pretty I can make my background.
    • by ackthpt (218170) *

      I can't exactly picture joining a service entitled "Wallop", no matter how many friends I have on there...it sounds pretty painful!

      Someone probably mumbled 'Wallet', which with the sale of extras could still wallop you painfully.

      aigh! my credit card bill! i've been walloped!

      I remember when many were willing, back in the day, to pay up to $12 an hour to be on Compuserve & GEnie, nattering away using their crude message boards. Perhapds some think that market still exists.

      Personnaly I expect it

    • by LindseyJ (983603)
      And yet that sounds exactly like the sort of thing some marketing shmuks would shit out. "Hey Joe! I just walloped you!" "Ow! Screw you!" "Hahaha, no silly! It's Wallop! The new Intertube social network from Microsoft!" [Campy, contrived conversation follows]
  • Microsoft uses IRC? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dascandy (869781)
    I'm guessing they got the name from the messages passed out by mIRC... Let's just hope they have more directed traffic on their site.
    • by DHalcyon (804389)
      One, you call IRC mIRC ONE MORE TIME, you die painfully.

      Two, there's actually an IRC command called "WALLOPS" that sends a message to all people who have the +w usermode set, but I doubt that's where they got the name from.
  • by Dargoth_Rejuv (1002142) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:39AM (#16200975)
    What a useless idea. Lets take someone else's good idea, and make people pay all sorts of fees to make it look worth a damn! Sounds like an excellent idea to me, where do I sign up?
    • by archen (447353)
      Not to be jumping on the MS bashing bandwagon here, but what in the hell is this company doing? MS is having enough problems developing software that they have a market stranglehold on - and now often slipping. MS trying to be all hip and trendy is like my grandma doing gangsta rap. The Zune thing is just ill concived and will fail. Same with their online music store for that matter. I am truley at a loss why MS is trying to be Apple all of a sudden. Is the billions of dallars they've made by concentr
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      What a useless idea. Lets take someone else's good idea, and make people pay all sorts of fees to make it look worth a damn! Sounds like an excellent idea to me, where do I sign up?

      Hmmm .... as far as I can tell, Microsoft has made a business model out of selling (initially lousy) implementations other people's ideas for profit.

      Sadly, they might continue with this one. Especially when they start including it in the default bookmarks of a shipping IE or something. It's good to have a near monopoly when you

    • This is what microsoft love to do. They love to enter a market late with an immitation of what's already on the market in question. Remember when they pushed the "new" MSN search so much cos they were fed up of people googling? And now they're doing the same thing with the Zune and whatever the hell its music store is called. At least Zune is a slightly catchy name (if not a slight hybrid of iTunes and Zen)whereas "wallop"?? What the hell were they thinking?!?! Oh and i almost forgot Soapbox, that Youtube c
    • Oh you would like to sign up? First you have to sign up to sign up. That will be $15 US Dollars, and then you will be subject for review for a secondary sign up process, which of course you will be required to pay $30 US Dollars. I know what you're thinking, Why $30? Why isnt it $15 US Dollars? Sir because we are an exclusive site, the very chance that you are reviewed and approved for second signup, should be make it important enough for you to sign up and pay twice the value. Frankly we are an exclusive s
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        You know, that was almost funny until you started in on the racial hatred. Almost.
        • Yeah it would have been funny but i got a phone call while writing it. :)

          I hate that.

          Oh the black thing... its just a joke. An exclusive club, would always look down on you for something you can not help... such as being of a certain race, born into the middle class, or genetically different such as a chronic illness, appearance etc.

          ALMOST funny. I agree. Dam phone calls.
  • by Phantom of the Opera (1867) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:39AM (#16200977) Homepage

    Hi, you seem to be writing a personal add. I can help. Your writing is too cornball.
      -MS Romeo
  • by xENoLocO (773565) * on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:43AM (#16201023) Homepage
    This is a private venture that used to be owned by Microsoft. Microsoft doesn't fund, did not develop, and has nothing to do with this site anymore.
  • KidneyPunch.com is a social network of non-linear extrapolation that combines functionality, information and collective knowledge in new and meaningful ways, all facilitated by technology.
    • And if you want to develop a meaningful relationship with someone special, please visit our sister-site, KickedInTheBeanBag.com
      • by shoolz (752000)
        ...and Christian singles can find that special someone who shares their values by visiting www.SlatheredInMayonaise.biz
    • by szrachen (913408)
      Wow. This site must have already been slashdotted. Even the DNS servers won't route me there.
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:44AM (#16201031) Homepage Journal
    Consider the following:

    1. to beat soundly; thrash.
    2. Informal. to strike with a vigorous blow; belt; sock: After two strikes, he walloped the ball out of the park.
    3. Informal. to defeat thoroughly, as in a game.

    Considering the success, or lack thereof, of other attempts by Microsoft to enter already established markets, their name will be exactly what will happen to them.

    Granted, I'm sure the reason for the name was to imply that the service will beat Facebook and MySpace but really, the marketing folks should have used history as a guide before settling on the name.
    • by Billosaur (927319) *

      Considering the success, or lack thereof, of other attempts by Microsoft to enter already established markets, their name will be exactly what will happen to them.

      I'm not so sure. They might just scrape up the less-than-tech-savvy market, the people who own computers, use the Web in a cursory fashion, would like some of these features, and recognize Microsoft's branding. I doubt they'll make inroads in the already established market unless they come up with something unique, which is not one of their st

    • by Rich0 (548339)
      Ok, how can a slashdot definition be complete without the obvious:

      4. Command used to send a message to all available operators. (As in Write ALL OPeratorS).

      Ok, so they don't know how to spell and dropped the s...
  • If anyone has browsed the site a bit (or can still, if it's not already /.'ed for now) -- I especially liked how the developer network page wants you to use Flash programming for sellable mods (as opposed to .NET applications) and the site itself is written using PHP (as opposed to .ASP / .ASPX)... Just my observations...
  • Brilliant new idea: micropayments [penny-arcade.com]! It can't possibly fail!

    Seriously, though, ringtones, horse barding, web decor... in real life we call this "nickel and diming" people to death. But with technology it's a brilliant new business model? Sounds to me like there's not enough competition out there inspiring others to win customers by adding value rather than sitting around subtracting value in new and creative ways in order to hold something back for later sale.

    Undercoating, rustproofing [seinology.com]... oh, did you

    • by CrazyTalk (662055)
      What we call "nickel and diming people to death" IS a business model - thats how the phrase got started in the first place. Think anything you purchase that has add-ons. It's just now expanded to the technical arena - nothing new.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:48AM (#16201091)
    Clippy pops up and says...
    "It looks like you are need some friends. Would you like some help with that?"
  • Wallop - The fast way to a real spanking.

    What a stupid name. Then again, these days "Absurdly stupid" == "'Edgy'. Exhibits a penchant for the uncanny or unusual. A Likely source of pleasant surprises."
    • Well, they had a hard time coming up with a decent brand; rejected names include 'FUBAR', 'Xyzzy', and '0wn3d'. They rejected 'h@x0R3d' out of hand for some reason.
    • Wallop - The fast way to a real spanking.
      If it were really that they could look forward to great success. Unfortunately, it's not.
  • It's been around for quite some time..
  • I just found a copy of the EULA they're going to use on this Wallop thing:

    We are the Borg. Lower your shields. Your biological and technological distinctivness will be added to our own. Resistance if futile!

    Is it just me, or does this sound a little ... ominous?

  • by growse (928427)
    When, WHEN will Microsoft stop being late to the party?
    • There are three kinds of technology companies:
      1. Microsoft's R&D.
      2. Microsoft's Market Research.
      3. Microsoft.
    • How to score at a college party? Come late. Girls are drunk and horny. Guys are to drunk to take advantage.

      MS has been using lateness as a business model for a long time and it has worked for them. Let someone else soften up the marketplace. Let the competitior burn themselves out. Come late and you can throw the big pile of cash around to get what you want. If the model is working, why change it?

  • This was to be expected. Microsoft has the history of eating up every successful company that comes its way. It either buys it out, or simply annihilates by creating a rival.
  • I remember it perfectly: an e-mail that I recieved several years ago about Gates giving out large sum of money to anybody who joins that chainletter... It's becoming true! Yes!
  • powered by phpBB.
  • That way I could wollop my wii with all my friends. If I had any that is.
  • Seeing the near religious ferver Firefox fans and Linux fans show, Microsoft has decided to start a new religion. Experts predict it will have hard time converting people because most of its targets already are worshipping money.
  • by v3xt0r (799856) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @12:04PM (#16201345)
    Well, I'm sorry to tell you MS, but MySpace KILLED-IT. You can try to follow in it's foot-steps, but good luck with that.

    The fact of the matter is...

    A) The name 'myspace' has a lot to do with it's popularity. 'Wallop' is a word that 68% of those myspace users have never heard of, so the chances of it catching-on, or them being able to spell it even, is very slim.

    B) The whole myspace phenom is long over. The majority of people who use myspace STILL, are not likely to switch to yet another social networking site. They've been to Friendster, tribez, etc. MySpace works for them.

    C) The majority of people who have moved-on from myspace MAY be interested in some less-shady alternative, but I suspect that they are 'over it' with the whole social networking fetish.

    Why don't they use that R&D dept. to actually innovate something for once. I mean... seriously, what a waste!
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      Come on MSFT has lawyers like the Great Barrier Reef has coral polyps. It will sue My Space, for patent infringement. It is going to claim that "My Computer", "My Pictures" "My Music" "My Worms" "My Torjans" "My Spam" have all been patented and copyrighted by MSFT along with "My Space".
    • I many interact with MS R&D in the graphics section. They gave 25% of the papers at this years SIGGRAPH where the paper acceptance rate is one in ten. They have luminaries like Blinn and Bell.

      Very little of that brain-power is commercialized. The problem I hear is a rivalry between the eggheads and people who write shipping code.
  • This is MS's latest attempt to play catch-up. When will they come out with something new and be a leader.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It looks like you're trying to take a picture of yourself in the mirror. Would you like help with:
    • Dying your hair black
    • Applying mascara
    • Looking sorrowful
    • Scratching your wrists with a blunt knife
  • For an invitation to wallop you have to write to them saying why you should get invited. I've had such a hard time writing a Statement of Purpose to my university. Arrrgh ...

    Anyways, Microsoft's just going to get Walloped. Anybody who's an anybody is on MySpace/Facebook/Orkut.
    • I don't like any of them. Orkut was pretty bland. MySpace is buggy as hell. Facebook was only slightly less bland than Orkut. I dunno what's behind the doors of Wallop, but if they already have an API based on ActionScript, it could potentially be lots of fun. I sent them an e-mail for an invite. It was worth 5 minutes to see if this new site is worth a damn (assuming I get the invite :\).
  • With all the bashing has anybody actually used the service? I did I didnt find it that bad. I actually found it better then myspace. But what do I know since I am not jumping on the lets bash microsoft for no reason bandwagon.
    • by Saige (53303)
      Well, it's hard for most of us here to have used it since it's invite only. If you're willing to pass some invites around for people to try the service, I think you'll get a number of people willing to check it out.
    • by loconet (415875)
      You must be new here. I bet you even read the article too.
  • "the exclusive social experience"


    The whole point of social networking, be it on the internet or otherwise, is to be inclusive, not exclusive. If you're being exclusive, you're not networking. Either they missed the boat, or it was an incredibly poor choice of words.

    That doesn't matter, though, becuase in either event, I can excoriate Microsoft and garner more karma.
  • Have you been Walloped(TM)!?!?!

  • ...Windows Live Spaces then??
  • Isn't there already an MSN Spaces? I thought that was MSFT's copy of MySpace. But then I didn't look into it very much (at all).

    Those of you who say it will fail don't know that Wallop will be integrated into the OS.
    Just like Passport and Hotmail were.
  • http://designer.wallop.com/forums/ [wallop.com]

    So they spend all of this time making some flash based pretty site, but then just throw up a default copy of phpBB as their BBS for their designers ("modders")?

    Nice to see that they're all about creativity
  • great another one of these idiot-magnet "social networking sites" that are all the crazy among the unwashed newbitry for me to receive spam to and links from my non-technical friends. Yet another stupid site filled with 13-year-old camwhores and 14-year-old-pimps for me to avoid.
  • Doesn't M$ already have a "myspace" type site called "Windows Live Space" http://spaces.live.com/ [live.com] ?

    What do they need two for ? Im not sure how this is a new step for them other than having it under a company who name doesnot contain M$ or windows or hotmail !
  • How much time do people actually have to have profiles in these networks! Think the market is saturated!!! MS would much rather have bought one of the more established ones!
  • Ok yeah MS has a lot of difficulty staying on track with software development, and what have you. But with out MS, would there be a computer in most peoples homes? Would a large number of us have jobs being the tech-geeks we are? And how many of you have never run a MS OS on their computer or their parents? I bet not a lot can say that. I say, show MS a little respect, with out them the PC wouldn't be anywhere near where its at today.
  • Hence all the php and flash. They're trying to give people things they already know and are familiar with.
  • roffle (Score:2, Funny)

    by SuperStretch (1005515)
    This is going to be the "Zune" of the social network world. Once again MSFT, a few years too lame.. oops i mean late.
  • Been on Wallop 2 years next month. I don't understand how this is news all of a sudden.
  • Anyone remember that "three degrees" thing that Microsoft came out with several years ago? It used IPv6 and Teredo to work. I guess it was more like P2P for small groups, than really social networking, but it was targeted at young (late teens, early 20ish) kids.

    Looks like it closed down in 2005.
  • http://www.wallopcorp.com/about.html [wallopcorp.com]

    Wallop, a spinout company from Microsoft, redefines the popular social networking space by ... Wallop started as a Microsoft research project more than four years ago. .... Karl found the research project at Microsoft and recruited Sean Kelly, the inventor of Wallop, as a founder ... It is a privately-held venture backed by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), Bay Partners, Consor Capital and an equity stake from Microsoft.

    So no, the article, summary, and headline are quite mi
  • of "PC" from the mac commercials trying to pick up chicks on myspace.

    *shudders*
  • by andreyw (798182)
    Anyone else feel like they're looking at Apple.com? The web page has an amazingly... OS X-ish feel to it. Kinda weird.

    Overall, at least it doesn't look like crap (hello MySpace!!!).
  • Like a hooker needs another dose of clap.

    I wonder if this will die as quickly as Walmart's effort [walmart.com] seems to have. Probably not: the people going to this will be as dumb but have more money available.
  • Does anyone else see the trend?

    "OOOOH other companies are making money on game consoles we should do that too!"
    "OOOOH other companies are making money on online music we should do that too!"
    "OOOOH other companies are making money on mp3 players we should do that too!"
    "OOOOH other companies are making money on social websites we should do that too!"
    "OOOOH other companies are making money on security software we should do that too!"
    "OOOOH other companies are making money on search engines we should do
  • Wallop? Probably better to term if Flop, because that's exactly what's going to happen.

    M$, the Johnny-Come-Lately to every single party... but tries to cheat its way out by bundling through its monopoly.

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