On Thursday, Microsoft will launch MSN Spaces, Redmond’s entry into the crowded market of blog publishing. There are already a bunch of folks kicking the tires on it, and it will be interesting to see the reaction of users and customers who start to make it their online home (vs. Blogger, TypePad, Userland, etc.).
Many of the usual suspects are already conversing over at Scoble’s place. However, it would be very interesting to hear the point of view from actual users of the system. So, if you are a user of MSN Spaces, what are your thoughts on:
– business vs. personal usefulness
– ease of setup
– ease of configuration
– likelihood of making it your “primary” blogging platform
– technical capabilities
In other words…from a user/customer perspective, does Microsoft have a winner on their hands?
UPDATE: Feedback from other sources:
“Ugh! I was not impressed in the least. The tool is overly simplistic, although it did have a few nice (although not unique) features, like customizable music lists. The designs are limited; in fact, the only variation to the visual elements is of the background and second color (one is always white). Plus, the weblog is powered by ASP.NET, so it’s difficult for search engines to index.” – willsblog
“I am sure it will improve and will be acceptable by 3.0 if MS follows its usual track record (which should be around 2006 🙂 !). No thanks. If you want a free blog, use Blogger or LiveJournal, I see no compelling reason to use MSN spaces at this time.” – Roland Tanglao
“Oh my God. Blogger is going to have it’s hands full with the new MSN Spaces which premiers today…I have to say I’m pretty darn impressed. For anyone who who’s been apprehensive about creating a Blogger site because of all the html coding and such, run…don’t walk to MSN Spaces. You’ll be up and blogging in no time flat.” – theShu, Greensboro Is Talking
“It looks like a very good first effort, with heavy borrowing from Typepad and Blogger, plus some ActiveX links to photo and music tools, and integration with their IM client, for showing presence.” – Stig Hammond
“As usual with a Microsoft 1.0 offering, this gets them in the game… but it certainly isn’t sufficient to get me to leave Blogger (despite its hideous warts), nor for me to recommend it as a solution to others.” – Tony Gentile
“MSN spaces is not a credible option for lawyers looking to blog as a way to market their legal services. The blog sites are set up to share personal information and do not have the necessary features of a good blog, including archiving content by categories and unique domain names.” – Kevin O’Keefe
Another update: Xeni does some fine investigative journalism here.