• United States
by Ann Harrison

Threedegrees of separation from nonsense

Mar 04, 20031 min
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoft

* Threedegrees attempts to be marketed as P2P

A group of young Microsoft developers has announced what it describes as a radically new instant messaging and communications product called Threedegrees that the company plans to soon begin testing.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding this product, not the least of which is the suggestion that it creates some sort of “peer-to-peer” social group. The connection of Threedegrees to anything resembling P2P networking is an example of a clever company attempting to co-opt an idea (or at least a buzzword) for the mass market.

Threedegrees does not support peer-to-peer trading. Quite the contrary. Any music that is “shared” by members of the groups that Threedegrees supports has to be present when this music is being played. They can’t actually give it to anyone.

So big deal that 10 people can participate in the same instant messaging session. The young folks in the Microsoft NetGen division that produced this software must know that millions of people participate in file trading networks. If they think they can sucker a group of young users to this dumbed down product, fine. The smart young people know this is a pale corporate replica of the real thing.