Microsoft Tries for a Social Wallop

By Ben Charny  |  Posted 2006-04-26

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 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.

Read more here about how social networking may lead to the resurrection of the old Netscape brand.

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, where 65 million users now take part in a kind of Internet-based club where members are safe to chat or trade items.

Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

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