Yesterday I discovered Microsoft was the new owner of the domain socl.com by chance, when I was trying to learn more about the mystery buyer of social.com. Earlier I had found out (while monitoring Marksmen’s name servers) that Marksmen who co-brokered the sale of social.com for $2.6 million, had also acquired socl.com days later on behalf of a mystery client. The mystery client turned out to be Microsoft according to the Whois record I checked yesterday.
A teaser landing page has been revealed online today on socl.com and it appears to be a new “social search” service by Microsoft as shown in the picture above.
The four letter domain socl.com would complement bing.com.
Although the site isn’t operational, visitors can get an idea of where Microsoft is going with the service called “Tulalip”, which also happens to be the name of a group of Native American tribes located not far from Redmond, Washington, where Microsoft is headquartered.
“With Tulalip you can Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever”, reads a message on the home page.
You’ll also be able to sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account.
At the time of this post, the links on the home page such as “See How it Works”, don’t work.
[Update 2: November 15th, 2011: It's official. Microsoft is launching a social network called SOCL. The Verge got an exclusive look at the service.]
[Update 1: July 14th, 2011: Matt McGee of Search Engine Land got in touch with a Microsoft spokesperson who had this to say about Socl.com: "Socl.com is an internal design project from one of Microsoft’s research teams which was mistakenly published to the web." Microsoft has taken the site down and posted a message stating, "Thanks for stopping by. Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn’t mean to, honest."]
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