Microsoft Wants Your Help Testing Twitter-Like Service

Company taking reservations for Vine

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The best way to let your family and friends know you've lost your job, your car broke down and you've moved the picnic get-together? Microsoft says: use Vine.

    In the age of hyper-fast information sharing, Twitter is all the rage. What better way is there to let everyone you care about -- or who cares about you -- know what you're doing minute by minute?

    Microsoft is answering that question with another one-word answer that will undoubtedly join the many trademarks of the modern age: Vine.

    When much of the Silicon Valley lost communication via cell and traditional phone lines on April 9 because someone cut underground lines, many turned to Twitter as the way to find and spread information. Microsoft sees the day when Vine is the network everyone turns to as the way to get the word out in a situation like that.

    The company is taking online reservations starting today for a limited beta version of the service that will give users a way to stay in touch with family and friends, especially in an emergency situation.

    The Microsoft Vine Beta connects you to the people and places you care about most, when it matters. Stay in touch with family and friends, be informed when someone needs help. Get involved to create great communities. Use alerts, reports and your personal dashboard to stay in touch, informed and involved.

    For users accessing Vine via the Internet, the software component of the beta service requires a PC running XP SP2 or Vista; and 600 MB of hard disk space, according to ZDNet reporter Mary Jo Foley.

    “The baseline offering of Microsoft Vine will available at no charge,” a spokesperson told  Foley, “Over time, you can expect to see premium services added on to the baseline offering, for a fee.”

    Small groups of people are Microsoft's target for their version of the micro-blog. But they don't want to be mixed into the social-networking bag. They prefer the Vine to be known as a “societal networking” service, Foley reports.

    Vine service should be open to testers in May.