Microsoft accidentally revealed an internal test version of its “Tulalip” social search service on Thursday.
The company had been hosting details of the service at socl.com, owned and managed by the software giant. Fusible noticed the site and its Tulalip service before Microsoft was able to pull it offline. The service included a teaser promising a new “social search” service by Microsoft. The service also appeared to allow Facebook and Twitter users to sign-in. “With Tulalip you can Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever”, read a message on the home page.
Microsoft confirmed in a statement to Search Engine Land that Socl.com is “an internal design project from one of Microsoft’s research teams which was mistakenly published to the web.” Microsoft has since updated the socl.com site to reflect the mistake:
“Thanks for stopping by. Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn’t mean to, honest.”
The reveal triggered speculation on blogs and on internet forums that the software giant was once again preparing its own social network to compete with Facebook. The service appears to be just a research project that typically do not make it to market. Microsoft’s research projects heavily influence other products in the company however, it’s possible that some elements from the project will be integrated into Bing at a later date.