September 18, 2006 9:01 PM PDT

Microsoft to take on YouTube

Microsoft on Tuesday launched a beta version of a new service that lets people upload videos of their cats dancing, babies laughing and teenagers playing air guitar.

Microsoft's new Soapbox on MSN Video site takes on the popular site YouTube, which has become an online sensation for viral and homegrown user-generated video. Also crowding the online video market are Google Video, Yahoo Video and Revver.


Soapbox on MSN Video, code-named Warhol, will eventually be integrated with Windows Live Messenger to allow people to embed links to videos in instant messages and with Windows Live Spaces so people can include videos on their blogs. (To read a first impression of Soapbox from CNET Reviews' Rafe Needleman, click here.)

Users of Soapbox will be able to rate, comment on and tag the videos, create RSS feeds and share links with others via e-mail. They will also be able to embed the Soapbox player directly on to their Web site or blog.

There is a 100MB upload limit, but no limit on video length or number of videos a user can upload. Users will be able to make the video full screen for better viewing.

Rob Bennett, general manager of entertainment and video services at Microsoft, said MSN's 465 million visitors a month worldwide would help it give YouTube a run for its money, despite the start-up's established leadership.

"It's early in the market," he said. "There is no question they (YouTube) have an early lead...(but) there is still a lot of room for growth with innovation and competition," Bennett said.

He likened the situation to that of Microsoft's MSN Spaces, which rose to become the No. 1 blog Web site globally within a year of its launch in 2004.

Unlike YouTube, Soapbox will have no advertisements, but Bennett said Microsoft can monetize the video by showing it on the main MSN Video site or by creating a "viral video hub."

Bennett also showed off a "visualizer" video search tool for MSN Video's existing licensed content that lets people search for and browse video by seeing relationships between tagged items. The keyword clustering application was created by an intern and could become a feature on Soapbox, he said.

See more CNET content tagged:
Rob Bennett, clustering, MSN, YouTube, Microsoft Windows Live


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It would be really nice if---
just for once--Microsoft had an original idea instead of copying the rest of the world. I mean, really, has Microsoft EVER been first at anything???
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Reply Link Flag
oh ya!
tell me one big company who has not copied other's ideas! Yahoo? Google? AOL? Apple? Go ahead, find one!
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
it does look good though
not sure if they will attract an audience, but for sure it has a very nice design.
Posted by df561 (94 comments )
Link Flag
It's called business.
I'll explain it in simple terms once more:
One company has an innovation, or something similar, that may or may not be popular.
Rival companies or just companies in general will copy and try to improve upon it with their own style.

The better company wins.
But just remember that better company does not have to mean better product or better in the moral sense.
Posted by Tomcat Adam (272 comments )
Link Flag
they were
The first to con IBM out of money for an OS they didn't even have...
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Link Flag
iPod, YouTube, etc, etc, etc
So, Microsoft, what are you going to copy next?
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by (156 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft the....
..... Corporate copycat !!

Posted by digitalgnome (228 comments )
Link Flag
for MS users only
Visiting the MS Video website I simply see a small page telling me
to install IE6 &#38; Win Media Player 10.
Neither of which will ever have a Mac version.

Youtube however works just great regardless of what computer you
Posted by Riquez-001 (171 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Works great on Firefox
The Soapbox beta at already supports Firefox and Safari - you are looking at the main MSN Video page, which is different.
Posted by bennynocheese (4 comments )
Link Flag
Always following
Why is it that when anything is successful Microsoft copies it? I mean, Spaces, soapbox, messenger, zune. All copies of other products that where successful. For once it would be nice to see some innovation and something new. Im tired of all the copies.
Posted by sda3 (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree entirely
Microsoft simply has no great ideas.
Its using its early monopoly in Windows
and MsOffice that allows it to challenge other
And it's only strategies are
a) using its the monopoly
b) forcing others to bankrupcy (eg netscape)
c) hoping others stumble (eg sony)

I sick too.
From IE, Xbox, PDA, PocketPC,
to Spaces, Soapbox, Zune and Msn Search.
=&gt;Zero Ideas, Zero Vision, Zero Innovation.
Zero consumer understanding.
Why should a company be milking so much
money from everyone else in the world.

Like what Steve jobs said,
"Microsoft simply has no Ttaste
...and it makes really 3rd Grade Products"

I really want to see Microsoft's Dooms Day.
Posted by rslc (93 comments )
Link Flag
not always...
remember the most successful "Origami"
wasn't that one of M$ original ideas? Even has 100% market share
(that is, the 10 prototypes that have been built)
Posted by dirk goedseels (39 comments )
Link Flag
A Microsoft branded iTV
What els is a "viral video hub"?

I have no problem with MS entering this market, nobody is first, but
it better be Mac compatible.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Reply Link Flag
looking for a clue
Why would MS spend money trying to appeal to 5% of the world? And as that 5 percent moves to intel based Macs with Windows emulation at various levels, any incompatibilities would be artificially created by Apple and its dying bred of die-hard developers.

Now if Apple would make the Ipod wifi enabled so you could watch watever FOR FREE when ever whereever then maybe somebody woudl care - but it looks like MS is ahead of them there.
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
doubt it
MS loves IE, but hates Firefox and Opera, so I doubt it'll even load on Safari.

Funny, isn't it? the itv, whish is apple's baby, will work with both pc's and macs, but microsoft's attempt at joining the rest of the world in the user video craze is more of a pc only thing...
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Link Flag
I guess if it was Google then it would be different
Why is it when Google does the same it's them competing but when MS does it, they are copying.

Double standard???

Maybe if you take the time to check out the things that MS is doing that does not have an equivalent then you would not have to state such silly things. The things MS is designing for Live are pretty much basic things they need to compete. Yahoo, Google and a host of other competitors did not create Blogs, videos, search, social networks but thats not stopping them from incorporating those technologies into their products. I guess when MS does it; they are just copying unlike the others I mentioned.

A better description would be why is MS so late in adopting these new technologies for the web. Why are they not being aggressive when they do bring them to market? Just providing something everyone else has gets you up and running but it doesnt drive traffic to your site. I guess MS is taking the route they have done with their other software. Hurry up, get it to market then try to improve upon the product to actually make it worth a damn.
Posted by Machiavellian79 (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The problem with MS is Mac compatibility
YouTube and Google at least try to make it compatible but with
MS its more the opposite. So its crucial to us Macheads that
these MS online things fail.

That said its also sad to see such an estabished, big and wealthy
company like MS to always getting it late, copying so much and
failing in so many areas even with the money they have on hand.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Link Flag
There is nothing MS is doing that there isn't a better option for.

Your statement implies innovation, something MS has NEVER done.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
New Slogan - Hurry and get it out the door
"Hurry up and get it out the door" should be their slogan. That's why so often their V.1 products or software are trash. The only reason a Company with so much wealth can get away with putting out V.1 trash is because that company has a monopoly. Any other company would be out of business years ago!
Posted by daveworld (123 comments )
Link Flag
Photo link doesn't work?
Anyone else getting "page cannot be found" error message when trying to open the photo link?
Posted by nospam! (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Link fixed
You can now click through from the story to the related gallery.
Posted by Jon Skillings (249 comments )
Link Flag
"You must install software to use this service..."
Yeah right! LOL.

Why does Youtube and Google Video not have this requirement!

Hahahaha.....viral soap :-)
Posted by G5Man (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, Google Wouldn't be Abusing a Monopoly
The difference is the other are trying to one up each other in terms of innovation to attract new users to their products while Microsoft simply follows behind copying other products feature and taking the market place through monopoly abuse. Observe how Microsoft is integrating their video service with Windows Messenger, which just happens to be bundled with every copy of Windows XP sold and by default starts up when you start Windows even if you dont want it. They force Windows Messenger on the user when they buy Windows and then use that to force further services on them.

Microsoft stifles competition using their OS monopoly to make their products the default choice in the marketplace. Remember the days of using Netscape? That went down the pan after MS cloned every feature of Netscape in IE (without adding anything new) and bundled it with Windows. Remember when people used to use WinAMP? WinAMP became freeware after MS started including a acceptable media player in Windows since they couldnt compete on price with a free product. Remember when ICQ was the number one messaging program? Microsoft brought an end to that by including MS Messenger with Windows. Why would the average user download additional software when they already have some that fit their needs bundled with Windows?

So when it comes to competition Microsoft are merely copying their opponents features to keep users from moving to a competing product while introducing nothing new themselves. They just give enough to keep users with the MS software but introduce nothing new that benefits the marketplace. There is no need for them to compete in terms of innovation because they own the market by default through abuse of their monopoly.

They use their operating system to push their products and their existing products to push further products which is clearly not fair play. The extent to which they can abuse their monopoly is made clear by how lazy theyve become in reacting to changes. In the past when a competitor brought out a new feature Microsoft would quickly add it, but just look how long it is taking to get Firefox features in IE or to launch this video service. For any other company being so late to the market place would mean failure but MS dont have to rush because they know they can use their monopoly to push their new products and will win eventually.
Posted by Hummer2097 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who are you kidding
So are you telling us that Google and Yahoo did not copy ideals from other startup, websites etc. So you are telling us that Google and Yahoo did not copy, Search, Video, mail, Map, news etc. Are you telling us that Google and Yahoo invented these technologies or were the first to introduce these services? I think you need to take off those rose colored glasses.

Yes MS has used their monopoly to leverage other products but to think this is isolated to MS is just foolish. Google and Yahoo do the exact same thing but the difference is that they do not have a complete dominance within a particular market. Hell, lets take a look at Apple. Apple constantly includes their own software within their OS that directly competes with 3rd Party Software. Apple is allowed to do this because they do not have dominance within their market. So, with all the software that Apple integrates with their OS does that not do the same thing as MS bundling their software and leveraging those products together? An Apple user definitely does not need to purchase movie making software, photo album, DVD authoring, etc.

What you fail to understand is that MS is just as much of a presence online as Yahoo and Google. The problem with MS is that they are to damn big and move like an Elephant going up hill. While Google and Yahoo are quick to copy ideals fostered on the net, MS takes months to realize this is something they should have as well in order to compete. This is why the big restructure that took place at MS. They have realize that they are taking way to long to get products out the door and the net is moving way to fast for their corporate structure. Unfortunately for MS, it takes a lot to move a behemoth like them and it's even harder to reshape a company that has grown to large. IBM learned this lesson a long time ago (and I was there when they was slapped by the DOJ and had to restructure themselves to compete.)
Posted by Machiavellian79 (20 comments )
Link Flag
Only works on IE
Now, they using windows monopoly again.
Posted by rslc (93 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Reports clearly state that Mac users and FireFox users are having no problems. Try to keep up.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Oh god!
Damn that Microsoft! I just bought a PC today and my hands started to operate by themselves! They moved into the start menu and OPENED UP WINDOWS MESSENGER! Then it clicked on the IE icon and MADE ME BROWSE USING THAT! Think of the crap behind that! It only went to MSN and other Microsoft websites too. It wouldn't let me search for google or install any other messenging service. This must be some sort of monopolistic mind control device packaged with the OS that they recently implemented. They are literally forcing my hand and making me use their products!


Back in the real world, anyone who gave a damn about choice and preference would ignore prepackaged options and use whatever they want. But then again you rely on all people being mindless sheep when you use your argument that MS forces people to use their products. I tend to give them the benefit of a doubt.
Posted by Nubasaurus (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Me too, me too!
Not innovative or original. In fact they are once again attempting to
leverage their Monopoly - with someone elses idea and thriving
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re: me too, me too!
Just like OpenOffice. Only, it's ok because they are not a monopoly right? Come on. There aren't many original ideas out there. People and/or companies are always striving to improve on existing technology. Should we stop trying to make the light bulb brighter and more energy effecient? Nobody says you have to use this.
Posted by richleick (7 comments )
Link Flag
but it might be better
The look and feel is way better than plain old YouTube or google videos.... NO advertisements

And it might become popular very soon, just because of the "Microsoft Monopoly"... and before you know it, Youtube is history
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
Explain your accusation
Explain how MS is using their monopoly to dominate the video-sharing web experience, as you claim. The Microsoft offering is an attempt to COMPETE with existing services. I see zero "leveraging of monopoly" in this effort. ZERO. The site works with different video formats and different browsers, on different operating systems. It is a web-based application service, and it is cross-browser and cross-platform capable. "Leveraging a monopoly" has apparently become one of those terms that the Anti-MS crowd tosses around in order to sound intelligent when they apparently have no clue what it means.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
MS always plays nice with others - Not!
Have any Mac users ever tried to watch a news video clip on
Click a video clip and a window pops up saying:
This product requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or Firefox
1.5, Microsoft Media Player 10, and Macromedia Flash 8.

IE6 unavailable to the Mac but hey - I got Firefox!
I also have both Macromedia Flash 8 and Adobe Flash 9.

The problem is MS also no longer makes a Mac version of MS
Media Player. They stopped at version 9.

So here we have a major news outlet - 1 of the big 3 networks in
the U.S. - ABC, CBS and NBC (in alphabetical order). But only
"MS"NBC does not allow Mac users to access their video files.

I moved to Japan a little over 8 years ago. I discovered I could
watch CSPAN on a Mac soon after I got here. I had a choice of
accessing CSPAN by using either WMP or RealPlayer. Later I could
also get video news from CNN, ABC, CBS, BBC, etc. (though
probably not in that order).

The only major U.S. News outlet that requires you to have a
Windows PC to access their video files is "MS"NBC.

Makes you kinda think that in their mind:
"That's The Way It's Supposed To Be!"
Posted by K.P.C. (227 comments )
Reply Link Flag
See previous comment about 5 percent
Could be worse - they could use the 80-20 rule
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
Take a good look, this is Microsoft's M.O.
ANY time Microsoft sees something that it deems valuable, i.e.
YouTube, they must copy it. Time and time again. The only
thing Microsoft can say it has innovated on it's own is Office. I'm
sure even that is debatable. Need examples? Here we go....

Console Gaming.... XBox
mIRC.... MS Chat
The Original Macintosh.... Windows 1.0
Apple iPod.... Zune (and the music store)
MySpace.... Windows Live Spaces
Mac OS X.... Windows XP (note the "X")
Mac OS X "Tiger"... Windows Vista (cheap knock-off)
Apple iMovie.... Windows Movie Maker

Anything they think they can make money on, they will steal.
Posted by mhersh (78 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Your post is completely idiotic. Are you trying to tell us that ANY of the things you named had absolutely no competitors before MS entered the market and that there were no new competitors afterwards? In your minds it's always MS vs everyone else as a single entity and you forget that it is a COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE!

Were Sony and Nintendo holding each others hands before the Xbox? Was the iPod and the Zen in bed with each other before Zune? What the hell is wrong with you people that you would come up with such stupid remarks?!
Posted by Nubasaurus (9 comments )
Link Flag
You mean: Anything Worth Destroying, They Will!
That's true. But the real story is that MS works under the assumption that the world should be a vast wasteland - and them. If it were legal to hire snipers to take out developers of non-Microsoft technology, most of the staff would be rated marksmen.

"Anything they think they can make money on"
Posted by Sumatra-Bosch (526 comments )
Link Flag
Add to that...
Netscape - IE
MS Money - Quicken
Groliers - Encarta
ICQ - Messenger
Eudora - Outlook
Apache - IIS

They don't innovate, just rip off others and then market their one through Windows thereby rendering the original obsolete in a lot of cases.

Please help the consumer Europe. Kick their butt and fine them more please. The USA failed us.

Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Link Flag
Re: take a good look, this is Microsoft's M.O.
Unfortunately, I fully agree with you. It's ridiculous. It's like they
can't bear for anybody else to make a living. I've tried to
maintain some type of impartiality towards Microsoft but it's just
impossible anymore.

The only thing besides office that they appear to show any real
innovcation in, is the science of copying other people's ideas.
That's truly poor.

Charles R. Whealton
Charles Whealton @
Posted by chuck_whealton (521 comments )
Link Flag
Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.
What a pointless argument. Competing in exsisting markets is EXACTLY what businesses do. Not every business can come up with a new product and market. Think about it.

McDonalds -&gt; BurgerKing
Subway -&gt; quiznos
Best Buy -&gt; Circuit City
Ford -&gt; Daimler Chrysler
Browning -&gt; Benelli
Oracle -&gt; DB2
Dell -&gt; Gateway
Bridgestone -&gt; Perelli
Bank of America -&gt; Wells Fargo

New products and line of business are GREAT. But to suggest that a SOFTWARE COMPANY is evil because they compete in an existing SOFTWARE MARKET really demonstrates a lack of understanding with regard to business in general.

A company in software is expected to try to compete in established and profitable software markets. Its called COMPETING, and its good for the consumer.

You can't accuse MS of being evil if your only evidence is that they compete in existing markets. EVERY COMPANY does this. *sheesh*
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
The most important measure of excellence in technical communication is honesty, brecause:

* It is the right thing to do.
* If you are dishonest, reader can get hurt.
* If you are dishonest, you and your organization could face serious legal charges.

This is what one is though in College. Real world is different tho, seems like these days technical communication is twisted and biased.

People write technical papers that are one sided, and that's what a lot of C|Net communication is, as I see it.

Who spends the most advertising dollars with C|Net ? Who owns them ?
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft to take on Global Peace!
Just as soon as they're done taking on Ipod, YouTube, Goggle, McAffee, ....
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Does MS want to rule everything?
Microsoft is already the dominant player in office suite with no major threat from Corel, and some of the freebies most notably OpenOffice. They are being challenging in the browser market with Firefox and Opera a lot in the past year or so. Market share has been lost in IE even.

Microsoft needs to make their alternative to Youtube Firefox playable, if it only plays in IE, no need to bother with it.
Posted by pentium4forever (192 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That's bologna!
Let me revise the post after viewing the MSN site. IE only? That's bologna!
Posted by pentium4forever (192 comments )
Link Flag
"Microsoft needs to make their alternative to Youtube Firefox playable"

Did u even check if it plays in Firefox? or did you post this comment just because you hate MS?
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
Dance Monkey BOY!
Will you be able to see this video on MS-DOWNTHE-TUBES?

<a class="jive-link-external" href=";search=Search" target="_newWindow">;search=Search</a>
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pie In yur Billy BOB!
Or maybe this video on the all new "MS-DOWNTHE-TUBES website?

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Should have called it SANDBOX
They should have called it Sandbox -- but then that reminds me of kitty litter. I think sites like <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a> [|] or <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a> [|] make sense. I'm curious why the beta release from Soapbox is in 2007? How much time do you need? ;) It's like they just can't play in the same sand box without being the bully..
Posted by mentosmaker (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Google Video is also beta
and so are most of their other products....
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
Run Billy Run!
<a class="jive-link-external" href=";mode=related&#38;search=" target="_newWindow">;mode=related&#38;search=</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
de ja vu
The same old satirical comedies written by apple. Like I haven't seen them before? They were done in what? the 80s? I suppose I should now base my computer decisions on how "bill gates runs"? If you can't do better than that, don't bother.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
as stupid as it gets
these are as stupid as the new Apple switch ads..
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag

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