Microsoft Vine Notification Service Enters Beta
Article by George Norman
On 28 Apr 2009
Redmond based software developer Microsoft is currently testing a Twitter-like notification system entitled Vine. The public-information service that has entered Beta testing in Seattle today has social networking capabilities (but Microsoft would rather you don’t say social networking but go with the concept it calls “societal networking”) and will let users stay in touch with one another (especially in times of crisis, since Vine was initially developed by the Windows Live team following the tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina) as well as aid them in building communities. The way Vine does this is by using alerts, reports and a personal dashboard to keep users up-to-date in regards to their family, friends, activities and major events in their community.

Here is how Microsoft describes Vine: “Stay in touch with family and friends, be informed when someone you care about needs help. Get involved to create great neighborhoods, communities or causes. You select the people and places you care about most. Use alerts, reports and your personal dashboard to stay in touch, informed and involved. Information associated with the places you have chosen will appear on your map, including articles culled from 20,000 local and national news sources as well as public safety announcements from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Information associated with the people you care about who are in your Vine network will appear on the dashboard too. You will know when they send you an alert, post a report or update their Facebook status information.”


Here is how Vine works:
- The Vine dashboard is displayed on your screen just as a regular widget. You see a map of you community and the status of your contacts.
- There are buttons for sending an alert and for posting a report. The recipient of the alert/report will get the message on their PC or via SMS message.
- Vine gathers info from 20,000 sources and displays said info on the map.
- It will not cost you a thing to get the baseline offering, but in time Microsoft expects to implement paid, premium services.

Beta testing Vine has begun in Seattle this week and Microsoft hopes that about 10,000 testers will go to the Vine webpage and sign up. In the near future Vine will be tested in a rural community in the Midwest and an isolated island community – no specific details have been provided.

Tags: Microsoft, Vine, Twitter, Social Networking
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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