Microsoft has launched a new product named Vine into private beta .The service uses alerts, reports and a personal dashboard to allow users to stay in touch, particularly during crisis situations.
The dashboard which appears as a widget on a PC screen displays a map of the user’s community and the status of their contacts. It also has buttons to send alerts or reports, which can be sent and received on the PC or as text messages on a cellphone.
Four types of reports can also be shared, which includes, letting your family know you’re safe, telling your trusted neighbors know that you’re away, keep people informed of situations that matter and share general information.
This product is said to be the brainchild of Microsoft GM Public Safety Initiatives, Tammy Savage who ideated it some 4 years ago during Hurricane Katrina but the work started as lately as last year.
Vine will currently be available only in Seattle but could see a worldwide launch within few months.It is currently inviting beta-tester who can use the product by signing up at www.vine.net to be among more than 10,000 testers the company hopes to enlist.
Vine is clearly an attempt by Microsoft to capture a pie of Social Media Web as Vine also gives users status updates from Facebook for close friends and family. Twitter and other social network news feeds will also be added over time.
Vine could widely be used by families,colleges or companies to notify people of schedules and changes.Individuals could also use it as a central hub to keep track of local news and data feeds and updates from people who really matter unlike Twitter.
Microsoft Vine could largely find success with closed door conversationalists and is already being touted as societal networking service at large with a huge potential.This could just be Microsoft’s attempt to attract audience looking for less noise(a.k.a marketing).