Microsoft's Social Groundhog Day?

Author: Steve Woods
Published: July 15, 2011 at 11:07 am

Just before I went to bed late last night, I saw the story flash across my Google+ stream that for a very short time, Microsoft accidentally exposed the splash page for a project internally named Tulalip, and located at Here’s the screenshot, as captured by domain and startup blog Fusible.

Since Fusible took the screenshot and launched the breaking story, Microsoft has shut down the page and replaced it with a statement that the project was an internal-only design project.

Right. Because Microsoft thinks its employees need a break from work, to connect with strangers through social networks, to shoot the breeze on a whole new social site that its programmers have been working on in that free time, rather than fighting against almost viral competitors, on a domain likely procured at some expense.

There were the obligatory posts this morning from tech sites like ZDNet and SlashGear, already trying to determine from the singular screenshot what millions of lines of unseen code could be hiding. Kind of like examining one frame of some grainy Bigfoot video, and ruminating on the videographer’s relationship with his step-mother. But hey, it’s what these tech sites do, and to their credit, they just might find enough breadcrumbs to follow Microsoft through the social networking forest.

I’ll stay tuned, but I don’t think I really care. Here’s why...

In the comedy Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays Phil, a television weatherman contently jaded on life, who meets the beautiful new station producer, Rita, on his way to cover (for the umpteenth time) the Groundhog Day ceremonies in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. After a downer of an uneventful day, Phil is stuck in Punxsutawney overnight, and stays in a local hotel. Phil is woken up by the alarm playing “I got you, babe” by Sonny and Cher, to discover he has to re-do the day over and over, until he embraces the karmaic truth that he belongs with Rita. Phil sets out to get Rita to fall in love with him, if only to move on in a new day together.

I’ve spent the last two weeks playing around with the invite-only Google+ beta, figuring out the whole Circles concept, and loving the interplay with new and familiar faces. I have to admit that I have loved Google’s products for years, waiting in anticipation of how they would “do social.” I am now firmly ensconced in Google+, and lately have had as many fleeting thoughts about visiting Facebook and Twitter as I’ve had about washing my car (sorry my social media friends...)

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Article Author: Steve Woods

Tech Geek. Digital Sommelier. Tea Aficionado. Founder of Twitter: @YouKnowSteve

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