Microsoft expected to release YouTube competitor

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Media reports published late Monday suggested that Microsoft on Tuesday will open the doors to Soapbox, a video sharing service that will compete with the popular YouTube website. Access to the service will be offered on an invite-only basis during the test phase with the final site being scheduled to launch within the next six months, according to an article published by Reuters.

Preliminary information about Soapbox indicated that users will be able to upload videos in any popular video format with file sizes restricted to 100 MB. Soapbox will allow users to configure RSS feeds to be notified when videos with certain content becomes available and will be able to browse available videos while watching a video - a feature that is currently not offered by YouTube. Early reports also mentioned that Windows Live Spaces bloggers can connect to Soapbox and not only use their profile on the website, but also embed videos from the video sharing service in their blog.

An early screenshot of the Soapbox website

Soapbox is currently listed under Microsoft's "Live Ideas" but apparently will not be published under the Live umbrella, but under the "MSN Video" brand instead.