Microsoft adds Spindex to control social networking flood

Still in technical preview, Microsoft's tool will aggregate posts from Facebook, Twitter, other networks

Angling to get in on the social networking craze, Microsoft yesterday showed off an early technical preview of a new tool that would aggregate social media.

The company pulled the wraps off the Spindex tool yesterday at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. The tool is designed to pull together a user's social streams from multiple social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to let users more easily peruse information.

"Today's social networks are powerful and compelling, but they're just the beginning of a broader transformation that will likely change every aspect of the Web," wrote Lili Cheng, general manager of Microsoft FUSE Labs, in a blog post. "One area we've been focused on lately is the personalization of social computing. As you increasingly tweet, post to Facebook, and capture ideas with tools like Evernote, we want to help you get the most out of your social activity by exposing the right information, at the right time, in a way that's meaningful."

Cheng noted that Spindex should make it easier for users to find out what's new, see personalized trending topics, and generally make the most of the time they're spending on social networks.

Cheng did not say when Spindex is expected to move beyond the early technical preview, or when it's likely to be broadly released. Microsoft did say that updates on Spindex' progress will be made available via the company's new Spindexme Twitter page .

The social networking phenomenon has grown beyond the borders of pioneers like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter to established major firms like Google, which earlier this year launched Google Buzz , a set of tools that can be used to add social networking capabilities to the Gmail e-mail service.

And now Microsoft looks to take its place in the social networking world.

"While it's early days for Spindex, and our learning has just begun, one thing is certain: what we discover will help inform Microsoft's approach to how we work and play in the years to come," wrote Cheng. "While my kids have a hard time appreciating this fact, it's still 'covered wagon' days for the Web. There's still much territory to be surveyed, and we look forward to sharing our explorations with you."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld . Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin , or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com .

Read more about enterprise web 2.0/collaboration in Computerworld's Enterprise Web 2.0/Collaboration Knowledge Center.

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Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)

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