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Microsoft is readying a Flickr competitor

A posting on Microsoft's career Web site reveals that the software maker is working on a competitor to Yahoo's popular photo-sharing site.

The big news out of Redmond today is that Microsoft is working on a Flickr competitor.

A job posting on the software giant's career site reveals that the Digital Memories Experience Team is trying to recruit a program manager to lead the project.

"This feature team is building a next-generation photo and video-sharing service that will compete with Flickr, SmugMug, and other photo Web solutions today," according to the posting. It's clear who the competition is.

Flickr has a really strong and popular product right now, so if Microsoft wants to be competitive in this space, it will have to put out a phenomenal product with enough incentive to pull users away from the Yahoo service.

One thing that, in my opinion, has hurt some of Microsoft's online efforts recently is the lack of an open platform and open data. Flickr's main strengths lie in that they make it very easy for users to download and upload photos through a variety of methods. Much of this is made possible through Flickr's developer application programming interface, or API, and also through first-party support.

I am happy to see Microsoft entering this space and creating more competition, but it really needs to focus on making sure that the service plays nicely with a variety of download and upload methods. This will be a welcome replacement to Microsoft's current photo-sharing solution in Windows Live Spaces, whose photo resolution could stand to be bumped up.

Via Long Zheng