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5/27/2008
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Microsoft To Unveil Social Bookmarking Tool

A preview version of Microsoft's Social Bookmarks, to be introduced next month, will allow users to bookmark, tag, and share any URL on the Web.

A Microsoft official said the company next month plans to introduce a preview version of Social Bookmarks, a tool that lets users tag and share their favorite Web pages with friends and colleagues, for members of its MSDN and TechNet professional networks.

The preview version will not offer full functionality, but will allow users to bookmark any URL on the Web, apply tags and save bookmarks using a feature called My Bookmarks, Microsoft's John Martin said in a blog post.

"All bookmarks, bookmarkers and tags will also be enabled as links that can be 'surfed' to discover new content and people," said Martin.

"Social bookmarks will also be integrated into the new Profile page and give every member of the community a great way to increase their visibility, impact and influence," Martin continued. He said Microsoft would officially launch Social Bookmarks at its Tech-Ed North America conference in June in Orlando.

Microsoft last year introduced a beta version of a more broadly targeted social bookmarking tool called Tagspace, but the effort appears to have faded into the background for now.

Social bookmarking is proving to be one of the more popular aspects of so-called Web 2.0-style computing—a reference that's used as a catch all to describe applications that facilitate online communication and collaboration.

Among the more popular social bookmarking services that have sprung up are Reddit, del.icio.us and Digg. Other popular entrants include Blue Dot and Diigo.

The interest in social bookmarking has not been lost on large, commercial software developers. In addition to Microsoft's forthcoming Social Bookmarks, IBM recently introduced social bookmarking services through its Lotus Connections product.

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