Microsoft's got something Google hasn't: a supposedly bleeding-edge global social network a la MySpace.com.
What Microsoft unveiled April 26 is its long-awaited Wallop, a 12-person startup that's using Microsoft-developed technology to launch another in the long line of Internet-based "clubs," where behind the supposed security of membership anybody can freely seek the like-minded to chat or swap files.
While not available until later this year, Wallop is nonetheless of particular interest to Google. What it means is now both of Google's major rivals, Microsoft and Yahoo, have social networking features that arguably outclass anything Google's got to offer in this red-hot arena.
Yahoo has its own 360 and My Web 2.0. It's also rumored to be looking to invest much more heavily into social networking in the future.
Meanwhile, Google has a number of features that fall inti this category. There's Orkut, which is blazingly popular in Brazil, but nowhere else. It's also got a blogging feature, plus its nascent Page Creator, a kind of mini-community of personalized Web pages.