One of the first things Microsoft did when launching the new Zune was kill the 2-year-old MSN Music download service.
The business reasons were plain: MSN Music was a PlaysForSure service, but the Zune wasn't PlaysForSure-compatible, and it came with its own music download service, integrated into the Zune software.
Sure, there's still something with the brand name MSN Music, but it's basically a shell--a few music videos, some promotional tie-ins with Zune (through a program called Ignition), and a radio station powered by Pandora.
You have to admire the guile (stupidity?) of a company has already faced so much anti-trust heat and still do crazy things like this. Essentially, Microsoft is saying that the contacts that users put into MSN messenger belong to MS, not the user. And if that user wants to import those contacts to a social networking site, the site should pay them. Bizarre and stupid.
The problem typically arises when a social network, say, offers its users the ability to import the list of contacts they've accumulated on Microsoft Hotmail.
Since the summer, my friends tell me, Mister Softie … Read more
Like many companies, Netconcepts recently celebrated the holidays with a little staff get together and mystery gift exchange. There were the usual, but always popular gifts of coffee, tea, chocolates, and wine, as well as a very popular Atari console ... and as we did the "you can open one or steal one" gift rule, it certainly was the most fought over gift.
Unfortunately due to timing, Stephan wasn't able to make it as he was out visiting our friends in Seattle and participating in a great SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday otherwise he might have been torn between the Atari and the unique gift that follows and shows that even search geeks have a sense of humor (twisted as it may be).
Every search marketer has their bag of tricks and tools, but why settle for a bag when you can have a kit ... or more accurately, a box with built in carrying handle? And at $15 or less, the cost limit for our gift exchange, within range of even the budding search marketer.
What comes in a Search Marketer's Kit? I thought you'd never ask. Luckily, each item in the kit comes with its own identification tag.… Read more
It's not the company's main focus these days, but Microsoft does still offer a paid service called MSN Premium, which offering services like a phishing filter and parental controls.
The thing is, most of the product's "premium" features are available for free in some form via Windows, Windows Live, or both.
Enthusiast site Windows Secrets thought it was time to point this fact out to the people who are paying Microsoft as much as $10 a month for MSN Premium. Of the 21 features Microsoft touts, Windows Secrets figures only one or two aren't … Read more
MSN, please say it isn't so.
As earlier reported, the MSN Live Search team had reinstated the link queries, though with a twist... now requiring a "+" in front of either the link: or linkdomain: query operators. But now it appears that the query is no longer working again.
But right now, it appears there is no love to be found at MSN for link queries:
Nor linkdomain queries:
Hopefully, this is just a glitch, but if not, then hopefully the Live Search team will make up their minds once and for all and either reinstate the special … Read more
Games always seem to capture a lot of attention this time of year, in part because of kids and toys for Christmas or adults and getting together for the holidays. It would seem that search marketers enjoy games, too. While this often revolves around contests or challenges to get a site to rank No. 1 in the SERPs, at PubCon this year, SEOmoz even got some search marketers to unplug long enough to play an SEO version of Werewolf.
With only a week before Christmas, I couldn't help but wonder what games might be dancing around in search marketer'… Read more
Here's a twist on the all-in-one cell phone chat client--make it call your contacts too.
Fring is a free VoIP and chat client. The downloadable app harnesses your cell phone's Internet connection into phone calls and chats with buddies on Skype, Twitter, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, and ICQ. Your carrier will slap you with no accruing SMS fee, but you'd better have Wi-Fi reception or an unlimited data plan if you want to chat freely and stay in the black.
Fring groups all contacts, including those in your phone's address book, into a single list, highlighting icons at the top to indicate the service your buddy patronizes. You can click a buddy's name to call them, and choose the method of telephony--Fringo, GMS, Skype Out, or SIP. You can also select your service of choice from the call menu. To reach out and ping someone, you select the "chat" option from the menu and begin typing into the narrow field.… Read more
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--In the wake of Yahoo's corporate troubles, and the long-ago collapses of sites and services like AltaVista, Excite, and others, some may be tempted to think that the era of the portal has come and gone.
Not so, says Microsoft's MSN.
In fact, Joanne Bradford, MSN's corporate vice president and chief media officer, said that around her shop, people look at all kinds of sites, including Facebook, MySpace.com, and YouTube as portals, and that these days, MSN's own plan revolves around a portal-like existence.
"Everything is starting to look like portals,&… Read more