Leave it to Microsoft to come up with an automated way of finding friends.
On April 26, the software giant unveiled new social networking technology that it has developed and a startup called Wallop that will distribute it later this year.
Along with a user interface developed by design consultant frog design, Wallop uses special computer programs to seek out people who may be a good match, Microsoft officials said.
As described by Microsoft, the feature relies on computer programs that "respond to social interactions" in order to automatically build and maintain a persons social network.
For all their high-tech sheen, social networking sites such as Friendster or MySpace.com have yet to automate the process of making friends. Its usually incumbent upon the participant to make friends the relatively old-fashioned way: by seeking them out on their own.
Wallop will debut later this year; Microsoft officials declined to be more specific about the date.
Wallop will be entering a hyper-competitive field pioneered by the likes of MySpace.com, where 65 million users now take part in a kind of Internet-based club where members are safe to chat or trade items.