Microsoft's project isn't aiming to rival Facebook

The much-rumored social-networking project from the software giant is geared specifically toward students who want to share information for their studies.

Microsoft Research's social network project Microsoft; screenshot by Jay Greene/CNET

Microsoft finally disclosed what its rumored project is, and it's not a Facebook killer after all.

The site, details of which leaked last month, is designed to give students the ability to network with their peers to share information, "transforming the web and social networks into the new classroom," according to a post on the Microsoft Research Web site.

The project, which comes from Microsoft Research, is specifically designed for university students, and not intended to compete broadly with consumer social networks such as Facebook.

" has been designed for students studying social media to extend their educational experience and rethink how they learn and communicate," according to the Microsoft Research post. (pronounced "social") is an "experimental research project," according to the post, that the company is making available to students in information and design schools at the University of Washington, Syracuse University, and New York University. It plans to expand the program over time.

It's unclear from the post, and articles from GeekWire and ZDNet , why students would gravitate to rather than existing social networks, or why they'd limit their use of the new social network to work and play at their universities.

Featured Video

Why do so many of us still buy cars with off-road abilities?

Cities are full of cars like the Subaru XV that can drive off-road but will never see any challenging terrain. What drives us to buy cars with these abilities when we don't really need them most of the time?

by Drew Stearne