Google blows the WAVE, Microsoft follows Oozie – Social Computing

The battle of RealTime social networks is about to begin. Google’s Wave, as we know Today, will be a killer applciation for Email, IM, Collaboration. So how can competitiors sit quietly and watch?

Microsoft’s chief software architect, RayOzzie, has set up a new social computing lab at Microsoft, to be headed by Microsoft Research employee, Lili Cheng.

The group is called Future Social Experiences (FUSE) that  brings together 3 existing efforts:

  • Cheng’s creative systems group from Microsoft Research
  • 2 units that were already part of Ozzie’s world–the Media Labs and Startup Labs group.

Ozzie sent an e-mail Thursday to Microsoft employees detailing out the plan to compete with Google Wave. He primarily talked about the Impact of the move and its importance.

“The three groups being combined have concrete skills and code in areas where ‘social’ meets sharing; where ‘social’ meets real-time; where ‘social’ meets media; where ‘social’ meets search; where ‘social’ meets the cloud plus three screens and a world of devices,” Ozzie wrote in the memo, as reported by CNET.

“FUSE Labs will bring more coherence and capability to those advanced development projects where they’re already actively collaborating with product groups to help them succeed with ‘leapfrog’ efforts. Working closely with (Microsoft Research) and across our divisions, the lab will prioritize efforts where its capabilities can be applied to areas where the company’s extant missions, structures, tempo or risk might otherwise cause us to miss a material threat or opportunity.”

“More recently, many factors have begun to transform all that which is ‘social’: the ever-present, high-bandwidth internet both wired and wireless; the ease of connecting people; the dramatic rise in digital cameras, camera phones and ‘app-capable’ phones; net-connected game consoles & TVs…”

That sounds so much like Google wave.

Cheng has worked on a variety of Microsoft research projects and commercial products. She managed the User Experience teams for Windows Vista.  Before that, she ran the Social Computing Group within MSR, which developed projects such as Wallop and VChat.

The question is that why would Microsoft be interested in Social Networking ? The answer is simple, Advertising. Last time when they bought Facebook’s advertising stake, it was clear that Microsoft was serious about advertising. After all, advertising a multi-billion dollar business. Microsoft’s interest in having a  search engine, was solely driven by the same passion. So far we’ve seen Bing losing it’s market share, I’m not sure if they are already on the right track with Google jumping in the lead, everywhere they go.

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