You have to respect Scoble for calling it like he sees it.
From the Mercury News:
Nonetheless, because of Microsoft's size and marketing power, bloggers have long anticipated the company's entry into the market.
``They'd be foolish not to get into blogging,'' said Ross Mayfield, chief executive of Socialtext, an online publishing company in Silicon Valley.
But Mayfield said he did not believe Microsoft would dominate the market or shake up the blogging industry as some have feared. On the contrary, Microsoft's entry into blogging will probably raise the visibility of the practice and help other blogging services attract users.
``A lot of people thought AOL Journals would be bringing blogging into the mainstream, and it would change the nature of conversation and affect the market share of the other blogging vendors,'' Mayfield said. ``And none of that has happened. This is one space Microsoft will not dominate.'
Also quotes Forrester Analyst Charlene Li on integration,`They've put all the pieces together
nicely." Her blog goes further with some good analysis of benefits of proprietary integration:
The integration puts the blog in context of other communications, such as email and IM. If you’re about to email me, you’ll see my latest post/photo – instant context setting and traffic generation to my blog. If you mention the blog posts in an email/IM, I’ll have even more incentive to keep blogging. That integration distinguishes MSN Spaces from other services like Lycos’ Circles and other traditional blogging tool providers like Blogger.
People already get this through tool straddling, and if they don't get it, they can if the tools are open.