Microsoft is stepping up to YouTube, Google, and Yahoo by offering their own video sharing service called Soapbox. At this stage it is only open by invite only but you shouldn’t be disappointed if you don’t get in right away. Why? CNet’s initial review concludes by saying
In sum, Soapbox is disappointing. It’s a slightly better sharing service than YouTube in some small technical ways, but it doesn’t help users make money from their content like Revver does; it doesn’t have granular privacy controls like Vox; it won’t post directly into blogs for you like VideoEgg; and it won’t show videos from other networks like Yahoo Video. Given Microsoft’s position in the video sharing market (dead last), I expected a more aggressive product.
Soapbox is not looking like an attractive solution for users but here are the features that CNet pointed out:
- Tag videos
- Browse videos while watching one (this is kinda cool)
- Any length of videos as long as the size is less than 100MB
- Uses Windows Media Player in Internet Explorer and Flash in other browsers
I think that the only way their video service will become popular is if they make it easy for people to integrate it into their Windows Live Spaces. Other than that I think Google and YouTube will still hold the crown for video sharing services.