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Microsoft Software

Microsoft Will Try Out Blog Service In Japan 196

theodp writes "Signaling its growing awareness of blogging as both a potential threat and a new business opportunity, Microsoft is turning to Japan to launch its first blog service and aims to have 1 million users in the first year. Not surprisingly, Microsoft's offering targets mobile bloggers, since nearly 90 percent of Japan's cell phones have Internet capability."
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Microsoft Will Try Out Blog Service In Japan

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  • Just look at what Google is doing today.

  • by rwven ( 663186 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:45PM (#9880205)
    Does anyone think they're going to have much luck with a program like this in a market that is as flooded as the blog market? There are so many options for blog creation out right now i have a feeling microsoft will be getting a run for it's "money" or worse with a step like this. I can't help but expect failure.
    • One might say the same about Google's Blogger...
    • The Japanese market is very different. You have all sorts of internationalization, cultural, licence model issues. I don't know much about the Japanese blogging scene, but I'm willing to bet they're not using blogger etc as much as in the West. You might have to emphasise blogging from mobiles, for example.

      The Japanese internet is pretty isolated in general. It sounds like a smart move by MS as they probably have the resources to target the market carefully.
    • I can't help notice the completely random accusation that Microsoft thinks blogging is a "potential threat."

      Barring the fact it's just another random Slashdot statement with no backing evidence, I guess Longhorn Blogs [], Channel 9 [], and the massive MSDN blogs [] from actual Microsoft employees are threatening their own company.

      In the past few years, Microsoft has become incredibly open as a company. I think Slashdot has greatly underreported that fact, and as a result, people here have a wrong impression about
    • The blog market is saturated? Oh, fiddlesticks. I just relaunched my free blog hosting service a few weeks ago. Now powered by WordPress [], and so much better for it. I present: blogthing [].

      (And, if I remember correctly I initially launched blogthing just before Google bought Blogger []. I sure can time things well, huh?)
    • Well,

      Living in Japan, I don't know of a single blog service, except for the random ones offered by ISPs to their customers directly, so, yes, I think they're going to have luck with a program like this in a market as untapped as the Japanese blog market.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:45PM (#9880210)
    ...Brog Service in Japan.
  • by seldolivaw ( 179178 ) <> on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:46PM (#9880212) Homepage
    I actually quite like it... Slashdot is just pissed off because it used to be a News Site and now everyone is calling it a Blog :-)
    • by fritter ( 27792 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:58PM (#9880342)
      I actually quite like it... Slashdot is just pissed off because it used to be a News Site and now everyone is calling it a Blog :-)

      That's completely crazy. A blog is typically just a bunch of links to other sites of interest, with a poorly edited introduction that's usually tainted by unfounded personal opinion. Then there's a spot where people can post their own stupid opinions about that particular blog entry. On Slashdot, on the other hand, you can give them money and you don't have to see ads.
    • 'Blog' is really just a buzzword for something that's been around for quite a while. Slashdot is a good example - it's more appropriately called a 'news site' because the stories are shorter, usually more concise, and related to IT news and events.

      Really the only difference is that 'blogs' usually stick to only 1 topic or are someone's personal log or views. But they have comments, links, trolls just like everthing else before them.

  • Yeah, yeah. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scowling ( 215030 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:47PM (#9880228) Homepage
    Microsoft just wants to get its fingers into every pie that it can. Today it's blogging. Tomorrow it'll be a search engine. Next week it'll be jacket-powered palmtops or some such crap.

    (I get the feeling that the most popular screen colour for these Japanese blogs will be blue, for some reason.)
    • Re:Yeah, yeah. (Score:2, Informative)

      by Aeiri ( 713218 )
      Tomorrow [] it'll be a search engine?
    • by modifried ( 605582 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:55PM (#9880316) Homepage
      (I get the feeling that the most popular screen colour for these Japanese blogs will be blue, for some reason.)

      A fatal exception 0xFE7 has occurred in blog. The current blog will be terminated.
      • Press any key to terminate the current blog.
      • Press ALT+CTRL+DEL again to restart your computer. You will lose any information posted in your blog.)
    • ...just wants to get its fingers into every pie that it can.

      Actually, isn't that every young geek's dream...


    • scowling said:
      I get the feeling that the most popular screen colour for these Japanese blogs will be blue, for some reason.
      Green? ;p

      For those who don't get it, sometimes there is confusion between green and blue when speaking Japanese because many times they use the word aoi for both. For example:
      ao-zora: blue sky
      shingo ga aoi: greenlight (traffic signal)

    • Everything has to appear to be a threat. I guess it's true: Only the paranoid survive...

      And a quote on the same topic:

      "Why you always wanna make it a fight?!" :)

  • New trend (Score:5, Interesting)

    by michaelhood ( 667393 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:47PM (#9880229)
    I predicted before this would become a new trend. American companies will start launching "high-tech" startups in companies like Japan first, to see how they are received, before trying them on the American market. The general public seems to be more receptive to technology in some European and Asian markets, as evidenced by their wide use of wireless and mobile technologies.

    It will be interesting to see how this affects the way we do business.
    • Re:New trend (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tool462 ( 677306 )
      I would argue that it's not necessarily because they are more receptive to technology, but more likely because the barrier to entry is lower. It's less expensive and more practical to deploy cutting-edge and sometimes risky technologies in population-dense areas like Japan and Europe than in the sprawling suburbia that is the United States. Once that infrastructure is in place, it then becomes that much easier to provide new services over that infrastructure. Any mobile blogging service would be doomed t
    • Re:New trend (Score:3, Insightful)

      by _anomaly_ ( 127254 )
      I'm assuming you meant "countries like Japan first" instead of "companies like Japan first"...

      At any rate, this is hardly a "new trend", as you put it. Launching products in test markets in order to determine their profitability has been around as long as capitalism has.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:47PM (#9880231)
    Damn. That's gotta be the fastest metamorphasis from Slashdot in-joke to business plan ever!

    So on to the important question: will the Slashdot duplicate read "Microsoft will try out blog service in Japan... in Japan"?

  • M$ clearly considers Google a threat.Google acquired blogger and M$ ofcourse perceives blogging is the next best thing. GOOGLE'S CORE VALUE : "Dont Be Evil"
  • Blog Service? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AnonymousKev ( 754127 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:50PM (#9880261)
    Okay, I'll confess ignorance. I have two questions about this new Microsoft service.
    1) How is a Blog Service any different from Slashdot journals?
    2) Why would people pay money to Microsoft to post comments and short, misspelled paragraphs about their lives?
    • Okay, okay, I should have read the article before posting. MS is giving the service away for free and getting buckets of cash from the advertising.

      I wonder how long it will be befor they implement subscriptions?

    • 2) Why would people pay money to Microsoft to post comments and short, misspelled paragraphs about their lives?
      Because there are people dumb enough to do so.
    • 1) Probably nothing, aside from some blogging services have external "Blogging" apps, so you don't have to go to the website to update it. LiveJournal has many clients.
      2)Why do people use Internet Explorer? Why to people buy Opera? People will buy things because they think "It costs money? It must be better" or "It's a Microsoft product? It's obviously the best".

    • Re:Blog Service? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BadMrMojo ( 767184 )

      Why would people pay money to Microsoft to post comments and short, misspelled paragraphs about their lives?

      The basic service is free (according to TFA). It's not about getting ¥ from the users, it's about controlling another standard and another portal in order to use it to try to corner another market.

      Then they can use the information they've farmed for whatever nefarious ends they wish. Of course it's nefarious. It's always nefarious. Not just because it's M$ but because it's business.

  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:51PM (#9880280) Homepage
    "im on trn
    hm soon
    btw im nt wrkin wknd."

  • Not Again (Score:1, Funny)

    by whfsdude ( 592601 )
    Yes another bad idea from Microsoft. When is Microsoft going to issue a public apology for Windows ME? All jokes aside, it looks like Microsoft is trying to counter Google's
    • Actually, Microsoft needs to do more than apologize for Me.

      They should find every registered user of Me and send them a free new machine running XP, along with a handwritten apology signed by Gates personally.
  • I remember when blogging ment beating the shit out of someone. And buy reading the post I'm not sure it's not, I can see Microsoft, beating people over the internet. Or atleast letting random people in todo it through the window.
  • It may very well be that corporate 'blogs' will be limited in their allowed communication scope - more like a 'look how fun and skilled we are' and 'menu for today' type of things.

    With the rampant IP filings (software patents), any real information about a companies offerings could be reworded and patented, thereby forcing a legal battle, which small companies would lose financially (i.e. - 25% of budget to legal fees vs. product research/marketing).
  • dontcha mean... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by FortKnox ( 169099 )
    Don't you mean:
    Microsoft Will Try Out Blog Service ... IN JAPAN!! ??
  • Whats the problem?? Just use your mobile to connect to your blog-host edit the darn file, and .... SAVE!

  • Orkut (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geek ( 5680 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @01:09PM (#9880475)
    They couldn't possibly make one worse than Orkut. Orkut is the slowest most worthless POS I have ever had the displeasure to use. Honestly. The Brazilian issue isn't even a big deal, or it wouldn't be if they provided ways of searching by region/language. As it is when you search for a community you get a list of 13,000 over half of which will be in portugese. You have no options for filtering it. Orkut is unusable during the day, it's literally that slow. It takes several minutes just to login. If google was smart they would drop the "affiliate" part and just cut it loose. The only thing I hate more than Orkut is probably LiveJournal.

    If MS does this right I'll use it. It must be fast, foster a good community vibe and be user friendly. Oh yeah and all this "Must be invited to use our dog slow and shitty service" won't be tolerated either. MS is smart though, I doubt they'll be so dumb as to make it invite only.
    • Re:Orkut (Score:2, Interesting)

      by satoshi1 ( 794000 )
      Orkut is something of a "friend-meeting" thing, right? Not a blog provider. That'd be -1 Redundant of Google, seeing as how they already own Correct me if I'm wrong, but I see no connection between Orkut and blogging.
      • by geek ( 5680 )
        It's also a blog with community forums and meeting functions. Nice troll though. Try using it before assuming to know what it is.
        • Well, since it's invitation only. . . how is anyone without an invite supposed to know? Orkut's about page [] makes NO mention of a blogging feature. It specifically states that it is "an online community website designed for friends" and a "social network".

          Satoshi doesn't seem to be making blanket assumptions, but provisional ones that could be based on information available on the Orkut website. (You'll have to ask him where he got his information.)

          Cool your jets, big boy. Nobody has been pissing in your c
          • Well, if asses like you wish to ASSume then you'll just have to settle for the "ass" title. I figured troll was just a little more polite, but if you prefer ass we can go that route also.
            • What is your malfunction? I made no assumptions, I merely pointed out that you were a little over the top with your attacks as well as pointing out that judging from Orkut's own website, Orkut is billing itself as a Social Network and not as a blog.

              I'm going to ASSume that you don't normally act like this, and some other personal issue of yours is intruding itself into the discussion. This is what we call an unsafe assumption, since it has no facts to back it up (indeed, the facts point otherwise). Satoshi
              • No, I better withdraw that assumption. Based on what I read on your website [], you're normally abrasive. And such a nice looking young man [], too.

                Anyway, I think you'll find that once you drop the "angry young man" shtick, a lot of the personal issues you're having will just fade. Good luck to you! You've got the intelligence to be much more interesting, and as you mature, you will be.

                And you're probably right about Rachel (See item entitled "bummer" []). It's a pity, but you're smart to be steering clear, at le
          • NO mention of a blogging feature. It specifically states that it is "an online community website designed for friends"

            You say that it doesn't mention a blog and that quote some marketing speak that sounds exactly like a description of a blog. Odd. (See, it say here that it's not a car, it's an "advanced automotive vehicle designed for transportation". No mention of cars at all.)
            • Your example is a ridiculous analogy. A better analogy would if someone called something a transportation system, which is about as general and open ended as "an online community website designed for friends". A transportation system could be a train, a car, a plane, a boat, i.e., many things. It could refer to roadways or railways or sea routes. Likewise "an online community website designed for friends" can refer to many things, not just blogs.

              So, really, I think that your reading specificity into a gene
    • Re:Orkut (Score:3, Interesting)

      by British ( 51765 )
      I would have thought with Google's backing Orkut would have blown friendster and myspace away in all features. Sadly, it is suffering from the same problems its competitors are.

      You're right. It takes forever to login, only to find all 20000 communities one is joined to has no message board activity.

      There's no blogging function either. While it may not be used much on myspace or friendster, it's a little nice to have, not unlike the blogging features on slashdot.

      Oh, and Orkut is still a sausage fest. kthx
      • by geek ( 5680 )
        "Sausage fest" LOL. I haven't heard that since high school.

        Anyway, it does have some blogging features, you just can't use them since it's so damn slow. It's more of a community blog though. I had high hopes for it but as it is it's just a piss poor system run by a pack of nazis censoring everything left and right. Send a message with the word "fuck" in it and find yourself put on an automatic "review" list where you can't message anyone or post anywhere until the mods have cleared you. It's pathetic.
  • Do you think Bill Gates will buy an "I'm blogging this?" [] T-shirt?
  • by The Ultimate Fartkno ( 756456 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @01:22PM (#9880593)

    Aah when you blog in Japan-tonight...
    Blog in Japan-be-tight...
    Blog in Japan...ooh the eastern sea's so blue
    Blog in Japan-alright
    Pay! - Then I'll sleep by your side
    Things are newsy when you blog in Japan
    Oh when you blog in Japan...

  • I just hope there's not a Japanese equivalent of "I ate a sandwich today. It sucked. I hate my life and my parents because they make me do homework. Linkin Park is the only thing I relate to. " (grammar and spelling have been corrected)
  • Microsoft Will Try Out Blog Service ..... in Japan! :D
  • Spike Lee will be introducing mobile blogging for the Afro-American community (in Japan). He is calling this new service "Mo Better Blogging".

    What next, you ask? Is Spike Lee the only movie director to get involved in this development? The answer is no, friends. Spike Jonz will be introducing a service in Japan called "Blogging John Malkovich".
  • By including a link to their sites in each blog entry, M$ sites will finally have a high enough pageranking on Google!
  • I don't know why people would do blogging on other poeple's sites, I do mine over at my one site, That way I can change the code of the software if I want, (which I have a little bit, but 99.99999% of the code is still untouched bblog software)

    I admit I pay others to host my site, I would like some day to bring the hosting off of another persons computers and get the bandwidth and server 100% under my control, but for now this is an acceptiable solution.
    • "I don't know why people would do blogging on other poeple's sites"

      Oh yeah, I'll just tell my grandma and my 14 year old niece to code their own and host it on a linux box running slackware. That'll be a sure fire way of getting the idea adopted by the main stream. Jesus, do people like you ever stop to consider that 99.9% of the people on the net don't give a rats ass about the fucking source code and whether they have access to it?
      • where did I say they had to code it??? Or where did they say they have to run their own server (I did say I would like to run mine on my own server some day)??? I just said why use others software on others people sites. I am sure 99.99% of people have friends that know people that are good at computers, and get them setup up with their own site, and get the software for them, and make the custome changes that they ask for. I have done web work for others, for free.
        • Just like 99.99% of people have friends who know how to work computers and could set up an email server and give all their friends email accounts? Sounds like a great point.

          I mean, why would anyone use internet email when they could just do that?

          Is that a gmail account you have? Wait....
          • which I put here to get all the spam I would get here, I don't read it my main email is mpop at mikeoconnor dot net if you go to my web site you will see that is what I list, I just put the gmail there for the fun to see how good the spam fillters are there, so far about 50 spams have gotten though out of about 1000. the gmail account is my one and only though away account, it has no value to it, and some day I will just stop checking it.

            Hay if you want if you have a spammed account just forward the spam
  • Maybe I've got Xbox on the brain today, but I can't help but wonder if the MS Blog service in Japan will be used in part to promote the Xbox and Xbox games there. Not only that, I could see this being intergrated with XboxLive in Japan as well. With 90 percent of Japanese cell phones having internet access, they'd have a great way to reach a large audience.
  • Not their first (Score:5, Informative)

    by ahertz ( 68721 ) <> on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @02:27PM (#9881316)
    Microsoft does run a site called "The Spoke," at []. I'll admit that I don't know anyone who uses it (and it's badly broken in Firefox), but it's got Blogs and "Copyright Microsoft 2004" at the bottom. So it's not quite fair to say this is their first entry into the world of blogging.
  • Free speech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kabz ( 770151 )
    One thing occurs to me about Microsoft blogging: Will people be able to criticise Microsoft, and/or endorse open source etc ?

    I'm not sure if it apochraphal (?spelling) but didn't Microsoft write a clause into the Frontpage license that forbade licensees from using it to publish any material that was anti-Microsoft ?

    I suppose the flipside of this is that if Microsoft implement filtering and censorship, then they may be able to create a 'clean' blogging area and appeal to a more family audience, much as AOL
  • Sorry, but how can a blog be a threat to anyone?

The absent ones are always at fault.