A new social media aggregator:

Looking Glass, the social media aggregator from Microsoft was opened up for beta testing in January 2009. The Windows team and put in place a load-balancing plan, meant to control the number of downloads that could happen at a time so the system wouldn’t crash, and opened up the beta-testing download period on a Friday at 9 a.m. By 9:30 a.m. a popular tech blogger had posted a way to bypass the load-balancing system and the operating system crashed under the weight.

Tweeting to the angst-ridden:

By monitoring the conversation we realized because we said there would be limited downloads, it created this angst said a Microsoft member working on the same. Microsoft reached out to the angst-ridden beta testers, asking them to watch its Twitter feed, and by Saturday morning it had alerted them the system was back up. Within 30 minutes it got another tweet — that that downloads wasn’t compatible with a certain browser. From Looking Glass team used the tweet to file a high-priority bug and it was fixed within the hour.

While the tool is meant to be open and work with a variety for third-party social-media vendors and platforms, it’s still meant to tie into and drive sales for Microsoft’s Enterprise Group, meaning that its use could be limited for companies that don’t use a suite of Microsoft products. It purposely built something that requires multiple Microsoft teams — ad sales and enterprise sales — to do. It seems the only way for Microsoft to win this youthful battle.

It also gives Microsoft ad sales reps something more to talk about than banner and search ads.

Microsoft wants to change the expectation advertisers have of Microsoft. Microsoft can do more than sell you advertising. It can help your business problems – it is a bunch of geeks, let’s see what the geeks can do.

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