Looks like Microsoft “accidentally” leaked a potential social networking website. Oops. A splash page was published to Socl.com, a domain registered by Microsoft all the way back in 1998, that looks sneakingly like a new social network. Kind of.
The splash page gave the option of signing in with Facebook or Twitter, and announced that “With Tulalip you can Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever.” Note that share is capitalized, and that the domain name is shorthand for “social” so kudos to Microsoft for bagging the domain so many years ago. Microsoft quickly yanked the page from Socl.com and hasn’t been willing to reveal any details beyond what’s up on the actual website. Microsoft left a message on the site that, “Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn’t mean to, honest.” Real sly, Microsoft.
It’s not clear exactly what they were thinking, but it seems they don’t intend to have another social network competing with the giants. It looks like it will allow you to search through social media in a more organized way, and perhaps it will even be integrated with Bing. The splash page also contains two rows of images that look an awful lot like the “Live Tiles” found on the start screen on Microsoft’s Window’s Phone 7. The customizable Live Tiles can show a person and their contact information, and that may be how Tulalip organizes friends or the people you follow on Twitter.
While this is clearly not an accident and Microsoft is obviously trying to create buzz for their product, I’m not sure if this is the right way of doing it. Will anyone be willing to wait for the actual Tulalip site to be revealed with all of this Google+ excitement in the air? One can only hope that Tulalip is a code name and not the actual name of the website, as Google+ is a lot catchier.