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12.03.09

Microsoft ‘Innovates’ Microblogging, Buys User Accounts, Followers Spoil Google Wave

Posted in Google, Marketing, Microsoft at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Noisy miner

Summary: Microblogging is ‘embraced’ by Microsoft, but not exactly in the ethical ways one might expect (or not expect, depending on prior convictions)

ONE of our regulars, who goes by the name of Goblin (he prefers anonymity), has spent the past few months tracking and exposing Microsoft AstroTurfing. It is him, for example, who managed to unmask Andre Da Costa [1, 2], whom Microsoft ‘compensated’ for his promotion of Microsoft, under pseudonyms. Goblin has actually developed software to analyse patterns and help identify those whom he eventually exposes, including AstroTurfers in Twitter.com.

According to Goblin, the Microsoft crowd is ruining Google Wave, which directly competes with almost-analogous Microsoft software.

As more of the Microsoft faithful discover Google Wave we can (IMO) expect more of this behaviour and perhaps highlights an issue which Google need to sort out quickly in respect of features, that being, only the creator of a wave can delete it and users own comments cannot be edited by any other user. Its a shame that there are people so frightened of an alternative to Microsoft that they have to engage in actions like this. Its also a shame that I believe the creator of this wave actually is a Windows 7 user and now they too have had their first experience of the Microsoft faithful.

Goblin also wrote about MSNBC/Microsoft’s acquisition of popular Twitter accounts, such as the case we wrote about yesterday. He adds this to the news about Microsoft ‘stealing’ Twitter’s idea.

Microsoft (masters of Innovation as many of their faithful will like you to believe) have just taken another step in trying to create a popular web service of some description (any description in my opinion) Looking at Bing and also considering Google apps, its easy to see why this next piece of news has happened (IMO).

Its being reported that Microsoft have “acquired” a Twitter account started by a 19 year old which offered news reports and has over 1 million followers. Michael van Poppel allegedly set up the account two years ago and on December the 1st a (very thankful Microsoft I believe) took possession of it.

Another example of Microsoft “not getting it” when they turn to the successes of a 19 year old in order to get their hands on a successful service?

[...]

So why is this a problem? Well its not, however Ive covered those “dubious” Twitter accounts that promote Microsoft products and then suddenly stop when challenged. I’ve covered the Twitter account which was using a legitimate (and innocent) company name to promote Microsoft stock. Who is behind this? I could (and would) not say for sure. I will let you decide however when you see all the Microsoft product RT bots on Twitter, you have to wonder how much is officially Microsoft and how much of the Twitter servers bandwidth is being taken up by the RT of MS PR around it.

[...]

In the first part of this article I covered Microsoft “acquiring” that which it HADN’T innovated, but now we move on to an example of Microsoft Innovation. Im sure you will be impressed as much as I am.

Microsoft China has developed a service called Juku which allows you to post 140 char messages to people in the MSN live network. I have to say that I was blown away at the originality of such a scheme. ;)

There is more information about it here.

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