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Accused Of Being A Copycat, Microsoft Suspends Its Twitter-Like Service In China

Less than a month after Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) launched a microblogging service in China, the company has pulled the product off the market, among rampant accusations that it had blatantly copied a competitor’s own microblogging service. In a statement issued late last night, Microsoft said, “Because questions have been raised about the code base comprising the service, MSN China will be suspending access to the Juku beta feature temporarily while we investigate the matter fully.”

Juku, which we covered when it went on the market, let users write up to 140-character messages which showed up on a page along with similar messages from Windows Live Messenger contacts. A competitor, Plurk, pointed out that Juku’s code and appearance had a very striking resemblance to its own (See screenshots below). In a blog post, it said it was “in shock asking why Microsoft would even stoop to this level of wilfully plagiarising a young and innovative upstart

4 Responses to “Accused Of Being A Copycat, Microsoft Suspends Its Twitter-Like Service In China”

  1. I have to believe MS did not know the code was stolen. They’d have way too much to lose and not that much to gain. This is why it stinks to hire out anything. You never know if you’re being handed stolen merchandise.

  2. I agree with you Jamie. Having done China web development myself, I would bet my paycheck that this was almost certainly contract work. Despite what folks in China would like to believe, Microsoft HQ does not really give a rats ass about web development for China.

  3. contentnext

    Looking at the code snippets Plurk provided as evidence it was pretty obvious that Microsoft’s version was heavily based on Plurk’s code.I suspect they contracted with someone to build it, and that person/persons did the stealing of code. Hard to believe that Microsoft would knowingly do this.