MSN Soapbox Public Beta Launched, No Live Branding

The Live branding at Microsoft seems to be under-going some drastic changes with the launch of MSN Soapbox, previously branded Live Soapbox, that along with the LiveSide news announcement yesterday on MSN Shopping (previously Windows Live Shopping beta) and the decision 2 weeks ago to retain the Hotmail branding for the Windows Live Mail (now renamed Windows Live Hotmail).

Confused? So am I.. It would appear that MSN would keep it's links with the entertainment side of Microsoft's services, if you could say that shopping was entertainment.. while the Live branding would stay with services such as email, search and blogging.

Yesterday the Windows Live Shopping beta was taken offline, with users being sent to MSN Shopping, available at shopping.msn.com. This appears to be part of the ongoing self-correcting process taking place in on Windows Live, occurring as a result of various MSN products being moved over to the new Windows Live brand in 2006, without much thought being given to their long-term future.

MSN Soapbox is an online video service that would compete with Google's YouTube. Like YouTube, Soapbox lets people upload video in almost any digital format. Users can then tag and categorize videos, so others can more easily find them. One difference is that Soapbox users can watch and browse from the same screen.

View: MSN Soapbox | MSN Shopping
News sources: InformationWeek & LiveSide

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