MSN Soapbox

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Soapbox on MSN Video was a service from Microsoft offered via its MSN portal. It is similar to YouTube in that it is an internet video-sharing service. As of December 17, 2006, the service was usable as an invitation-only beta. The site launched a public beta in February 2007. In order to upload content, users were required to sign up for a Windows Live ID. Those who already had a Windows Live ID were able to use their existing ones instead. In its time, MSN Soapbox was compared to YouTube. A major difference between YouTube and MSN Soapbox is that Soapbox states in its privacy policy that use of copyrighted material is not allowed and will be deleted. YouTube has a similar policy, but copyrighted material is still present on the site, as YouTube leaves the responsibility of finding copyrighted material in the hands of the copyright holder.[1]

On June 16, 2009, Microsoft Vice President Erik Jorgensen said that Microsoft plans to scale back Soapbox, citing tough economic conditions.[2]

Soapbox used an interface heavily dependent on JavaScript and AJAX. The original codename for the project was Warhol, the Soapbox name being subsequently chosen by an intern during the summer of 2007. Soapbox on MSN Video differed from other video sites as it offered features such as RSS. Users also did not need to open a new window to continue using the site and browsing videos when they were uploading a video of their own.

The last version of Soapbox was available in English (U.S.); service and upload instructions are also in English. There were, however, plans for language availability to be widened in the future. Videos were shown at 400 x 300 pixels by default, but could be expanded to play in full screen. Soapbox played videos using Microsoft's Windows Media Player plug-in when loaded with Internet Explorer, while videos loaded in other browsers were displayed with Adobe Flash Player.

On July 21, 2009, it was announced that Microsoft would be closing the service to uploads at the end of July. The service was closed entirely at the end of August 2009.[3]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "YouTube Video Identification Beta". youtube.com. 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  2. ^ "Microsoft gives up YouTube chase". cnet.com. 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  3. ^ "Microsoft closing YouTube rival". cnet.com. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 

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