MSN Spaces Launches (review inside), Targets MyYahoo too

Here’s the press release for MSN Spaces, which I wrote about yesterday.

Aside from everything we knew yesterday, there’s one additional tidbit of note in the press release… It looks like Microsoft is in ‘fast follower’ mode, and intends to add RSS support to MyMSN shortly, ala MyYahoo. (Scott Gatz and crew, you should be flattered.)

More thoughts here after I’ve played with it.

(As I’ve noted for months, and like my friend Susan Mernit said today, I’m hungry for a new solution given’s continuing availability problems — let alone the poor feature set. Let’s see if Spaces makes the bar…)


In brief… competent, but not compelling (at least not to me). Clearly a very consumer-minded solution.

The ‘good’:

  • WYSIWYG editing
  • Cutesy animated emoticons
  • Mobile-blogging and email posting supported (IM posting to follow early next year)
  • Lists, Photos and Music support
  • C-A-T-E-G-O-R-I-E-S (can you tell this is important in my mind), but not nested
  • Trackback support
  • RSS
  • Built-in reporting
  • Permissioning allows you to restrict to a ‘friends list’

The ‘bad’:

  • Can’t host on my own server and/or with my own domain!
  • WYSIWYG, but no HTML editing of post
  • No HTML editing of template/layout
  • Only pings
  • Commenting support on/off at a blog (vs. post) level
  • No control of archiving
  • 10MB storage limit
  • .NET/Passport sign-in required
  • By the time I finished typing this up (10 minutes?) the service crashed! (Update 2: Service didn’t crash; still rolling out across the cluster and expected to be available at ~9PM PT tonight. See comments for details.)

As usual with a Microsoft 1.0 offering, this gets them in the game… but it certainly isn’t sufficient to get me to leave Blogger (despite its hideous warts), nor for me to recommend it as a solution to others.

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6 comments on “MSN Spaces Launches (review inside), Targets MyYahoo too
  1. Anonymous says:

    As I posted on, MSN Spaces didn’t crash or get pulled. It hasn’t been deployed yet. The press jumped the gun. Give it some time, the official launch was scheduled for 9:01pm.

    Mike Torres –

  2. Tony Gentile says:

    Hey Mike, appreciate you dropping by. As I replied on, the U.S. site was live for long enough for me to set-up my own space, configure my profile, post a blog entry and write-up my review!

    Here’s the confirmation email I received (from [])

    You have created your own space on MSN Spaces.

    Here is the web address for your space:

    To go to your new space now, use the above address.

    To help protect your privacy, do not include any personal information (for example, your address, phone numbers, Social Security number, or credit card information) on your space.”

  3. Tony Gentile says:

    For anyone that cares, after a bit of back & forth w/ MikeT, here’s a summary of crash vs. pulled vs. not deployed, etc:

    “BTW, got word from Mike Torres that the service hadn’t crashed or been pulled, but was still rolling out across the cluster; appearantly I got lucky and hit a few machines that were live. The rest of my comments are accurate & representative of my experience playing with it for a bit.”

  4. Anonymous says:


    nice pre-launch write-up…

    i personally think it’s great that msft has entered the arena…

    for my money (yes – i gladly paid) six apart still produces the best blogging toolkit between mt and typepad…

    mike dunn –

  5. Daryl says:

    Yeah, I want Blogger to add categories and trackback quite badly too. I’m hoping their inclusion in MSN Spaces pushes the folks over at Blogger to start including them. No HTML in posts and no HTML editing for the templates (some of which look seriously bad) seems to indicate that the first market for Spaces will be cheesy cutesy personal bloggers…

    (My own thoughts on MSN Spaces)

  6. James says:

    WYSIWYG Editor (But no HTML Editing)

    No, that’s only if you are using IE5.5+ If you use an alternate browser, you can edit the HTML directly (you have to actually, you don’t get the WYSIWYG bit… But I preffer it that way!!)