Redmond, Washington -- Software behemoth Microsoft on Tuesday, took the wraps off of a new tool called Spindex, an experimental online service that pools “social” content from various and sundry online sources, including Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, and Redmond's own Bing search engine.
The project was initiated by Microsoft's Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs, -- the research unit established by Ray Ozzie last fall -- the service is officially identified as Spindex.
Lili Cheng, general manager of Microsoft's FUSE labs, launched the tool onstage here at the Web 2.0 Expo, prefers to call it “the impossible project.”
Spindex is a way of extracting the most contributed or popular items that come through your personal news feeds on social networks like Twitter. Microsoft's project is part of a wave of similar projects like The Cadmus, Feedera and Knowmore that try and synthesize trends and news streams from personal social networks.
“Most people do not really care about what is trending on Twitter. They care about what is trending in your own personal index. They want something that is private, but that you can possibly make public and share with friends,” said Cheng.
Microsoft has long been attempting to enter into social networking through a number of projects all around the past year. Last fall, Microsoft launched its own real-time search engine with Twitter's data on Bing last fall.
Cheng explained that there were four basic technical problems real-time search engines must address. Companies have to be attentive with timeliness, unpredictable growth in data sources, experimentation system and data quality.
Spindex.me is live, but Microsoft is requiring users to sign up and be approved. A Windows Live account is also required.
Cheng, described Spindex as “one-size-accommodates-all search for everyone on the planet”.
“Today we have one index for everyone in the world,” Cheng said. “If you want to delete something you cannot; if you want to mark something up it is really difficult.”