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Microsoft Launches Oxite, Open Source Blogging Platform

microsoft-oxiteMicrosoft has just announced Oxite, a new open source blogging and content management platform. Microsoft says the platform is not geared towards competing with WordPress or Movable Type. It includes standard features including comments, ping backs, the ability to create posts and pages, user profiles, there is also support to manage multiple blogs on a single site, and a whole lot more. Microsoft says Oxite is more geared towards developers. The source code can be found here.

Microsoft is a big player and can it easily have hundreds of thousands of people using this product that will also open the door for mass development and adoption. It also shouldn’t be too hard for developers to scale plug-ins and apps from WordPress to work with Oxite. We’ll just have to wait and see if Microsoft decides to push this, which they probably should given its potential for mass adoption.

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Facebook Planatir, Visually See People Connecting

A team of Facebook engineers have developed an application dubbed Palantir which visually shows activity on facebook in real time geographically on a map. The project isn’t going to be scaled right now, but it does look really kool and gives a great insight as to how people are using Facebook to connect with friends worldwide.

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Facebook to Charge App Developers $375

There are almost 50,000 custom Facebook Applications running now on Facebook, and many more will spring up. Developers never had any costs, until now. Facebook has made its Verified App Program official. The idea is that trust worthy apps would be approved based on their usefulness and bad ones would essentially be screened out. However, the catch is that developers must pay a $375 USD fee to Facebook just to try to get approved. If your app is approved, it will get more publicity including in a new approved app list and in the news feeds. If your app isn’t on the list, it will become increasingly difficult to scale your app because it will be less visible and people simply won’t install it due to security concerns – no matter how good it really is.

Facebook is continuing to experience exponential growth, according to Compete, its traffic is up 84.1% (to 45 million visitors per month) year over year (Oct 08). Facebook has never released any financial information, though it is believed it is operating cash flow negative because of the immense operations costs and its main source of revenue is simply from advertising. This is probably why we won’t be seeing a Facebook IPO. Facebook needs to become more competitive given increased competition from Google and Apple. It must also diversify its business model to generate more revenue, but charging all developers a hefty fee shouldn’t be one of the ways. However, I do agree that it would be reasonable for Facebook to apply some fee to the highly profitable apps – it’s only fair, right? Hopefully Facebook will change its stance about charging all developers, especially as developers can easily port their apps to the iPhone. The new Facebook principles can be found here.

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