MSN Juku Being Investigated By Microsoft For Copying Plurk

Posted Dec 15, 2009

Plurk is a microblogging service that has really started picking up in Asia. For a brief period of time, major software company Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) subsidiary MSN China made a blatant copy of Plurk and called it MSN Juku.  The user interface and the code for the interface look extremely similar.

Plurk pointed out MSN’s rip off of their service using several bullet points in a company blog post.  Below are those bullet points and a screenshot they included of both services compared side-by-side:

  • Microsoft China officially launched its own microblogging service, MSN Juku/Hompy/Mclub, some time in November, 2009.
  • The service?s design and UI is by and large an EXACT copy of Plurk?s innovative left-right timeline scrolling navigation system. (see screen captures below)
  • Some 80% of the client and product codebase appears to be stolen directly from Plurk! (see evidence below).
  • Plurk was never approached nor collaborated in any capacity with MS on this service.
  • As a young startup, we?re stunned, shocked, and unsure what to do next and need your support and suggestions.

MSN China is not completely owned by Microsoft, it is a joint venture.  Microsoft released a statement saying that they are investigating the matter and suspended access to the beta in the meantime.