Mary Jo Foley notes Microsoft's foray into blogging is due to launch this week, MSN Spaces:
Some users have been speculating that MSN will allow users to post to their blogs via MSN Messenger 7, the latest version of Microsoft's consumer instant-messaging client, which is in beta now and due to ship in early 2005.
In August, MSN launched a beta version of its blogging tool for the Japanese market only. At that time, MSN officials declined to discuss when and if they planned to broaden the beta to other countries. MSN officials said they considered the MSN Spaces beta as "an incubation project."
Other blogging vendors will thank them for introducing their users to blogging, otherwise not that much will change.
Update: Launched. Here's my demo space. Its like AOL Journals with lock-in, but a good fit if you use all of the following: Passport, IE, MSN Messenger, Hotmail, Windows Media Player. Trackbacks are on by default, pointing to other MSN Spaces. More private groups require Passport or MSN Messenger membership for all. Public use demands the latest IE from your readers. All the features invented elsewhere, and its still not easy enough to use. I think this is all fair to say, pains me to say it as there are people behind it. But watch this space.
Even More: This post was the first ranking for "MSN Spaces" during launch on Google and MSN search. Indexes have churned since then, but event people are here for something definative, the ongoing saga is one of censorship. Read this and that.