Microsoft Concedes UGC, Kills Soapbox

No surprise here, after several redesigns and attempts to make their Soapbox online video site a worthwhile platform Microsoft has announced that the site will be shut down at the end of August reports CNET. For a look at why this is no big surprise lets take a walk down memory lane.

Soapbox first launched to the public in February of 2007, the third prong of Microsoft’s video strategy (original content, licensed content, user generated).

Six months after that, faced by consumer backlash Microsoft decided to dial down pre-roll. Microsoft’s insistence on using Windows media for pre-roll on top of Flash video at this point was generating significant bad blood.

Finally in September 2007 Microsoft announced that the site would move to Silverlight, and promoted its Silverlight based UVNTV site powered by MSN Soapbox.

But it was never really much of a destination for online video, YouTube’s ease of use and already massive scale made it difficult for Microsoft to compete. So it makes sense that Microsoft cut its losses at this point. Their online video focus will be on professional content and enterprise services, which is where they should have been all along.