Mike Torres' MSN Spaces blog (he's a program manager on the MSN Spaces team) is already one of my favorites. He shows exactly how a corporate blog can correct misperceptions in real time.
I wish more Microsoft employees had blogs like Mike's.
Oh, and Ballmer called the iPod "a nice device."
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO: "Blogging is huge."
Thanks to Steve Rubel for passing that along (Detroit Free Press journalist Mike Wendland got an interview with Ballmer and passed those comments along in his article).
So, Steve, when you gonna blog?
Scott Johnson of Feedster announces a new feature where you can search just the blogs created on a single service (like MSN Spaces).
So, here's the first reactions from the blogosphere about the just released MSN Spaces (in no particular order):
Enoch Choi: "I don't see what benefit it has over blogger or typepad."
Chris Pirillo: "I'd say this is a pretty good v1.0."
Dare Obasanjo: "Top five things I dig about MSN Spaces." (Hey, how did he sneak onto this list, he works at MSN?)
Greg Hughes: "About as easy as it could be."
IlluminatiLand: "Base service will be free, but things like comments, anti-comment spam filters, banning, registration, etc. will cost you." (Scoble's note: the team doesn't have plans to charge for anything at this time).
Brian Jepson: "My MSN Space is here."
Kevin Tunis: "I like the look and feel of this."
Cameron McBride: "Great use of DHTML to produce a really easy experience for users new to web logging" and "Scoble should go first." (Scoble's note: I have an MSN Space, but haven't put anything up there yet).
Peter Rysavy: "it's one big hug and share community service."
Michael Hanscom: "Power users and web standards geeks (who are probably not the target market anyway) will definitely want to look somewhere else." (Scoble's note to Michael: hey, did you see the Macintosh in the video?)
Stig Hammond: "It looks like a very good first effort."
Tony Gentile: "It certainly isn't sufficient to get me to leave Blogger."
Nathan Novak: "Is this thing on?"
If anyone else has blogged it, leave your URL in the comment area here.
So, you're probably wondering what I think of MSN Spaces.
It's not going to get me to switch from Radio UserLand. I was telling Steve Broback, who I was having a meeting with when the news broke, that if you are Doc Searls, Dave Winer, a corporate blogger, Steve Rubel, Liz Lawley, Jonathan Schwartz, Jason Calacanis, Jackie Huba, Evelyn Rodriguez, Steve Gillmor or someone like that you probably should look at Moveable Type, Das Blog, or .TEXT instead of MSN Spaces.
Dang, I've been beating up on MSN a lot this week. But hear me out.
Why isn't MSN Spaces good enough for me?
Well, first of all, I'm going to try to forget for a moment that I'm an employee of Microsoft.
Putting my user hat on...
OK, here's why. Basically it comes down to that there's a lot of limitations that would really bug me. Here's a partial list:
1) I can't totally redesign my MSN Space (I don't have access to the HTML/CSS that makes up the templates).
2) I can't get my own domain (like www.scobleizer.com).
3) I can't put Google Adsense ads on my blog (and I can't move or remove MSN's ads from my blog and I can't figure out any way to get revenue sharing from MSN).
4) I can't get more than 10MB of space. (Only photos count against that limit, but I have 8,400 photos on my hard drive, so can probably fill up the limit pretty quickly).
5) There's no developer story (no API you can use to build stuff). I'd like to see developers, like Laszlo, build things like their BlogBlox for MSN Spaces, but that isn't possible.
6) There's no service integration story (no Feedster, Pubsub, Technorati, Del.icio.us, Memeorandum links, etc).
There are probably others, but those are the biggies.
Now, what's interesting is that the team isn't hiding from any of these negatives.
The videos show me that there are a lot of positives to MSN Spaces. Really cool integration with MSN Messenger is top of my list. A really killer datacenter backing up the system is another (can we say fast performance?). Did I hear right? 26 languages supported? That's really going to make it nicer for bloggers in non-US countries.
That alone impressed me about this team. They state up front "we aren't done yet" and want your feedback. Do you agree with my list of shortcomings? Do you have any others? Things you'd like to see the MSN Spaces team do?
The team has been active here and on a lot of other places. I'll make sure they see the relevant feedback. The videos really explain all and give you a unique insight into some of the choices that MSN has to make.
Whew, just loaded a whole bunch of stuff up on the link blog. It's taking 3.5 hours just to read my feeds now.
Anyway, the MSN Messenger 7.0 beta is now online.