Microsoft is getting ready to build a picture and video sharing site that it hopes will rival Flickr. While the tech press is probably too guilty of over-interpreting corporate moves as all being about grand battles, cloning, and product-killers (Microsoft versus Google, iPhone-killers, etc.), this time it’s Microsoft itself engaging in the clonespeak, as it were.
The company on Friday posted a new job opening with a very telling description. The listing for a “Program Manager” speaks of a heading up “next-generation photo and video sharing service that will compete with Flickr, SmugMug and other photo web solutions today,” reads the entry. “This is a ‘v1′ opportunity.”
Microsoft knows it is playing catch-up, tipping its hat to services that already have strong brand identities (something that I don’t think can be said for Windows Live): “Come make Windows Live the best place to share your digital memories! Heard of Flickr? YouTube? How about. Mac? [sic] This role will work across the new Windows Live division with teams like Spaces, SkyDrive, Messenger and Hotmail to construct a winning strategy for Microsoft in photo and video sharing.”
Long Zheng, who first blogged about the job offering, asked whether or not the world needed another Flickr. But he answers his own question when he notes that many of Flickr’s best features require a $25 subscription. Competition could erase that or push Yahoo into turning it up a notch. Ain’t competition grand?