Microsoft is not going to sit back and let others have all the fun when it comes to social networks. The company today accidentally revealed an internal test version of a social search service named "Tulalip" -- reportedly after a group of Native American tribes. The site was hosted at socl.com and included a non-functioning search box as well as a short message that read: "With Tulalip you can Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever."
Although Microsoft has since pulled the page it did confirm the project by posting this instead: "Thanks for stopping by. Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web."
In case you are wondering, it doesn't seem like this will be a full-fledged social network competitor a la Google+, but rather something to work with existing ones. There are options to link the service with Facebook or Twitter, and the "tiles" of images on the design are reminiscent of the user interface for Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 platform.
It's unclear how serious the company is about this project or if it's part of a larger plan. As Fusible.com points out, IP and brand protection company Marksmen bought the Socl.com domain a couple of weeks ago, and recently transferred ownership to Microsoft. Just days before that the company had co-brokered the sale of social.com for $2.6 million. Though the latter doesn't list Microsoft as the owner there are rumors that both domains are for a related project.
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