MSN Spaces Beta* Fact Sheet -- first impressions: "MSN Spaces, a free service currently available in beta version, is an entirely new offering from MSN that allows consumers to create personal Internet Spaces sites where they can express themselves in a variety of ways and interact with the people they care about most. MSN Spaces is more than an ordinary personal Web site; it's an easy-to-use service that is more like a dynamic online scrapbook, giving people a place to create and update a Web log, or blog, and share their photos, music playlists and more, all while better connecting them with friends, family or the online world.
The MSN Spaces beta, available in 26 markets and 14 languages, comes with a rich notification system that informs people's contacts about changes to their Spaces to help bring people closer together."
I created a test MSN Spaces blog. First impressions:
1. The client doesn't work with Firefox (seems fitting, since Blogger's BlogThis! tool doesn't work with IE after XP SP2...). More specifically: it apparently doesn't recognize my Passport login in Firefox, so the post option doesn't appear; I can view the blog in Firefox, however.
2. Nothing like the one-click UI in BlogThis!
3. Looks like something that could be useful for occasionally sharing photos and blog posts with friends and family, but not a substitute for Blogger at this point, at least not for news filter-oriented blogs like mine.
4. Slow... but I suppose that's reasonable in beta.
5. RSS support included ("Syndicate this site")
6. Interesting MSN Messenger integration -- see details here (via Scobleizer, naturally); this is probably a leading indicator of future Longhorn features...
7. The MSN Messenger 7.0 beta doesn't appear to be ready for prime-time; I'm glad I don't rely on MSN Messenger, as the beta (which annoyingly required a Windows reboot) isn't working at the moment (relatively dull but reliable Windows Messenger continues to work, however)...