Every so often, Microsoft releases an eye-roller that invites plenty of criticism. A lot of it has to do with the committee approach and the fear of failure among Microsoft middle managers. Also, there appears to be meddling by people outside of a project. (At least, that's what ex-employees often complain about.) The meddlers' job? To muck up other projects.
The latest crackpot idea is So.cl. What a name! It's supposed to compete with Facebook and Google+but when you look at it, you just say to yourself, "Wow, is this corny or what?" There are too many smiling faces and cheesy reasons trying to convince you to use it.
Golly, kids, this is going to be really fun! It's going to be neat-o!
Are the executives at Microsoft ten years old?
Here is a gee-whiz example of the pitch: "Start a Video Party - Doing things with others is a fun part of So.cl. Start a video party on any topic and chat with your friends."
The grammarians at Microsoft held back on the exclamation mark in a sentence that was actually an exclamation. Hey, get with it!
To begin, what bonehead thought it would be cool to use the Facebook login for So.cl? I can kind of understand how it would be good for research, but it looks pathetic. It does remind us, however, that Microsoft owns a piece of Facebook. Thus, it did some deal where it could use the Facebook login, I suppose. Nevertheless, it is terribly lame for something that looks to be competing with Facebook.
I was going to sign in with a Windows Live ID but the following message notified me that it was going to take all my data and address book:
Socl needs your permission to do the following:
Sign you in automatically - Signing in to Windows Live will automatically sign you in here, too. View your profile info and contact list - Socl will be able to see your profile info, including your name, gender, display picture, contacts, and friends.
Access your email addresses - Socl will be able to see the email addresses in your profile.
I'm not interested in having all of these multiple logins and I really do not like being logged into services just because it somehow makes the service look good. I also have no interest in assailing my address book. I do not trust any of these systems not to spam folks. So I clicked "No" in the dialog box and was hit with a creepy bug image. Hey, Microsoft, insects do not have eyelashes!
Should I further investigate this dumb thing? I do not use Facebook and I seriously do not want to set up another Hotmail account. Why can't I just sign up and log in using this system as the base of operations rather than Facebook? I thought hard about why Microsoft would create this barrier to entry. I looked at the graphics. I looked at the Facebook login. I re-read the pitch. This has got to be for children and random idiots. I'm done. I bail. Not interested.