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Microsoft Reporter not diggin’ Digg

an image of the Microsoft logoIt’s a brave man that takes on Digg. Microsoft might not be brave, but then they don’t have to be. They can just out-spend almost everyone else.

MSN is testing the MSN Reporter, a Digg style social news site which was developed by a Dutch MSN team in Q4 2006.”

Could it be that Microsoft are sick of the pro-Apple anti-Microsoft slant of Digg?

OK, that was cynical, but that was actually my first thought. And clearly I wasn’t alone either, given one of the comments in the article:

“CyBrShRk: How will Microsoft handle stories that criticize them?!?! I can’t see this working effectively with Microsoft’s history of content control.

Loren Baker: Probably in the same fashion that Digg handles stories which criticize them, by burying them.”

Being a self-confessed Apple fancier, I do cringe when I read some of the groveling, fawning pro-Apple anti-Microsoft verbiage doing the rounds on Digg, much of which becomes somewhat of a flamewar.

But then question of ’embrace & extend’ rears in ugly head once more:

“Paul Bliss: Instead of trying to outdo Digg, why doesn’t Microsoft just buy Digg, and let it continue to run much in the same way Yahoo lets Delicious continue to run?”

To which Loren again replies:

“Paul, Microsoft buying Digg would potentially kill Digg. Yahoo has proven that they can acquire a company like Del.icio.us, Flickr or MyBlogLog, let it run on its own, and use the technology and the brains behind such companies to better Yahoo.”

And I find myself agreeing with Lauren on this final point.

If all Microsoft wanted to do was kill Digg, then buying them would be the way to go. So maybe that’s an option still on Microsoft’s boardroom table, should Digg get too much of an impasse?

I suspect Microsoft would prefer to compete with them on level terms and help MSN make a name for itself, which it has singularly failed to do over the years…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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