Imagine your social world--Twitter, Facebook, etc.--all on one page. Popular lifestreaming solutions like FriendFeed and Tumblr work to provide just that. Now, imagine it's a Microsoft offering.
Introducing Spindex, Not Your Typical Lifestream
Spindex is the newest brainchild of Microsoft FUSE Labs. Like a modern rolodex, the tool aggregates Facebook, Twitter, and RSS data from your friends.
But wait! That's not all. Unlike a typical social data aggregator, Spindex integrates Evernote so you can save your ideas or random thoughts, and uses Bing to suggest related information. Users can also search for keywords in status updates, save queries, and use Bing's suggested Web pages to dig deep into the hot topics within their social circle.
These functionalities serve to, as Microsoft says, "make sense of your social overload" by targeting indexing and archiving, rather than simply acting as a funnel of status updates and information.
The Microsoft FUSE Labs general manager, Lili Cheng, explained the thinking behind the release in a blog post on The Official Microsoft Blog: "One area we've been focused on lately is the personalization of social computing...we want to help you get the most out of your social activity by exposing the right information, at the right time, in a way that's meaningful."
Spindex is currently only open for technical preview, but you can request an invitation here.
Also In the News...
Meanwhile, FUSE Labs is also busy with their recently announced Docs.com, an app that allows Facebook users to share and collaboratively edit MS Office Documents. Oh, and let's not forget the social connectors living in Outlook 2010, which enable users to see updates from their Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn contacts without leaving their e-mail account.
These social and web-based power plays are obvious attempts to wedge Microsoft into an arena they've previously been left out of, but several critics think it's far too late for the company to jump on board. Even Cheng said "all of these projects...have the potential to be this big storage-crazy nightmare or for no one to use them."
Then again, perhaps having the most tech-savvy employees will pay off in the end.