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Microsoft launches 'Spindex' social aggregator

Pulling Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, and other media-sharing services into one place, the service is currently in a limited private beta.

SAN FRANCISCO--With a new tool called Spindex, Microsoft's Future Social Experiences Labs division is diving into a niche where many have failed: social-media aggregation.

Lili Cheng, general manager of Microsoft's FUSE labs, unveiled the tool onstage here at the Web 2.0 Expo on Tuesday afternoon, saying, "we kind of call it the impossible project."

Spindex will launch with an array of data that isn't typically found in a social-network feed dashboards like Seesmic or TweetDeck--a genre of app that has been thrown into limboin the wake of Twitter's decision to launch official mobile and eventually desktop clients. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, Spindex can handle RSS, bookmarking service Evernote, and Microsoft-owned search engine Bing, with more services still to come.

A Windows Live ID is required to join Spindex, which is currently in a closed-beta preview version and will be expanding soon.

"We've been thinking for a long time about how can we do, kind, of, your own personal index," Cheng said of the product, describing it as a "social personal index" and "a personal Rolodex." Basically, it aims to provide a way to sift through the "media" side of social media--and unlike most social aggregation services, the slant is toward indexing and archiving rather than the hot-button "real-time" craze. The Web-based Spindex app features a social feed stream, a "trending topics" section that goes a little deeper than the one Twitter offers, and the ability to bookmark items and add them as favorites.

"We have one index for everybody in the world," Cheng said of traditional, nonsocial search index indexes like Google's and Bing's. "If you want to delete something you can't, if you want to mark something up it's really challenging."

Whether it's still "impossible," as Cheng had joke earlier, will become evident as this project expands.