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July 11, 2006

Microsoft-ness?

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Google received its own entry yesterday, so I guess it’s only fair we talk about some of the things Microsoft has been up to lately. I know, I know but we at least have to keep the facade of neutrality. I’m kidding, We love like Microsoft.

Barry points us to a SER thread that suggests MSN may ignoring, or at least not accurately following, Google’s robot.txt file setup for api.google.com. If MSN was following Google’s instructions, searching MSN Search for site:api.google.com would bring up zero results. Instead, doing a site command brings up fourteen.

Err… I just accidentally clicked the second URL MSN lists (/create) and received an email from Google thanking me for signing up to Google Web API’s service. Oops?

Wait. Make that two emails from Google thanking me. Note to self: stop clicking on things MSN brings up.

To be fair, MSN isn’t crawling the content, just the URLs. Yahoo! and Google are guilty of the same thing. So is this really wrong or just a different interpretation of what the file says? And why are people only picking on MSN?


If you’re looking at Microsoft’s in-the-works Live Drive to compete with Google’s Gdrive, you’re looking in the wrong place. The folks at LiveSide (no affiliation to Microsoft) say Live Drive will not offer the same type of functionality that the rumored Gdrive will.

“Live Drive will offer a “FolderShare” like ability to access files from a remote computer – provided there is an internet connection between computers, and that the computer being accessed is running. Windows Live Search (the desktop one) is planned to be able to search across these remotely accessed files, providing remote access, and search capabilities, but no actual “in the cloud” storage.”

That “in the cloud” storage users are looking for will come from a different source: S Drive — the codename for Windows Live Messenger Sharing Folders. Similar to Gdrive, S Drive will offer file sharing and file synching between computers.

Of course, Live Drive, S Drive and Gdrive (and perhaps Ydrive?) are in pre-beta testing, so who knows when we’ll see a glimpse or if they’ll even be brought to the market in their current state. For now, it’s just more rumor to keep the geek in you up late at night.


On the heels of Ask’s partnership with Treasure Hunters (did you SEE last night’s episode. That Kayte Fogal does have a flair for the dramatic!), MSN will debut an original interactive baseball reality show on its MSN Original’s channel called Fan Club: Reality Baseball.

“Along the way, users will be able to select the team roster, determine batting order and choose pitchers. They’ll also be able to make decisions on roommate assignments and player trades. Whatever they collectively decide will be implemented, and they’ll then be able to watch the results via short-form video and text narrative.”

Eh, I’m not too excited. Maybe because it involves minor league baseball (ten bucks to anyone who can tell me, without looking it up, what state the Schaumburg Flyers play for). Or it could be because you have to watch it online and I haven’t converted to that form just yet.

What I do find cool is that ClickZ says team members, their families and friends will blog on MSN Spaces as part of the program. Going behind the scenes to get dirt from mom, dad and best friends? The eternal high-schooler in me can definitely get behind that. I’m a sucker for a blogs. And TV-induced drama.

What I really don’t like is how hard it was to dig up the URL to the Fan Club site. Are users supposed to be able to navigate there through the Originals homepage? Because if they are (and they should be), I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how. Thank goodness for Web searches.

Even if you do find your way to the site, you can’t do anything. There’s a big Coming Soon logo in front of what could be an interesting site. You can’t get a sneak peak of the photo gallery, look at the locker room or subscribe. The Schaumburg Flyers site isn’t even prominently advertising the sponsorship. They have a little navy blue box that blends in with all their other little navy blues boxes. What kind of word of mouth are they hoping to build like that? Lame.


Lastly, props to Live.com for providing users with an easy toggle to go from the cluttered Personalized Live.com page (complete with news, weather and mail info) to a squeaky clean Search Only page. It’s great. I love a little Google with my Microsoft. Nathan has the screenshots.

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