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MS enters blogosphere

Microsoft has begun trialling its first blogging service with the Beta launch of MSN Spaces.

Microsoft has begun trialling its first blogging service with the Beta launch of MSN Spaces.

The company’s new portal at http://spaces.msn.com gives users the opportunity to publish fully featured blogs (online journals) and marks Microsoft’s first foray into the so-called ‘blogosphere’.

MSN’s Spaces is free to users who already have Hotmail or MSN Messenger accounts. Users simply sign up, choose a design for their page and then begin uploading entries. Unlike some free blogging sites, uploads can include photos, with images being stored in photo album form as well as within individual blog entries. Bloggers can add music and create custom lists, plus an interesting additional feature is ‘Gleam’, with which members use Hotmail Contact Cards to notify friends and family each time their blog is updated. Microsoft will earn revenue from the Spaces service through the placement of banner ads on blog pages.

Many of Microsoft’s competitors already offer blog services. Google for example owns popular site blogger.com, while AOL also provides its members with online journals. Blog analysis firm Technorati reckons there are currently nearly five million blogs online.

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