Microsoftâ€™s Office Labs section has been working on a prototype social networking application that is said to be very similar to Facebook. The main difference is that the Office Labs social networking platform -- called TownSquare -- is not meant for general use on the internet.
Rather, TownSquare is an application designed to allow enterprise employees to keep in touch with other employees in the enterprise. Office Labs was asked by the SharePoint and Office product development teams to create TownSquare according to InfoWorld.
TownSquare can provide employees feeds and updates about coworkers including notifying them of things like the updating of documents, co-worker promotions and company anniversaries. Users of the system can even allow the feed to tell other users when they are in a meeting or out for a coffee break.
Details of TownSquare are to be released at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston this Thursday by the general manager of Office Labs, Chris Pratley. Pratley told ComputerWorld that so far in testing within Microsoft about 8,000 employees had visited the network at least once and that about 700 employees use the network daily. Pratley also says that some Microsoft customers are also currently testing TownSquare within their companies.
Pratley said in April when Office Labs was first announced that it was not in the business of producing finished software and its wares could have bugs. In a similar statement, Pratley says TownSquare is not a product and is only a platform to test the technology concepts used in the application.