Microsoft Has No Answer To China Plurk Debacle

Early this morning we wrote about what appears to be a blatant rip off of Plurk by Microsoft China. Microsoft’s Juku product looks almost exactly like Plurk, and the code appears to almost identical.

Now, more than twelve hours later, Microsoft still has no real response to the situation. It was the middle of the night in China when the story broke, and Microsoft says that they are just now working with their team there to “track down the information.” In the meantime, Juku is being taken down:

Earlier today, questions arose over a feature developed by a third-party vendor for our MSN China joint venture. We are working with our MSN China joint venture to investigate the situation.

Unfortunately, when these questions first arose, it was the middle of the night in China. Now that the day has begun in China, our teams are working hard to track down the information.

Here’s what we know at this point. Our MSN China joint venture contracted with an independent vendor to create a feature called MSN Juku that allowed MSN users to find friends via microblogging and online games. This MSN Juku feature was made available to MSN China users in November and is still in beta.

Because questions have been raised about the code base comprising the service, MSN China will be suspending access to the Juku beta feature temporarily while we investigate the matter fully.

We will provide additional information as we learn more.

Only two things are really clear right now. First, Microsoft is standing around with their pants around their ankles looking pretty ridiculous right now. And second, this is the best thing to happen to Plurk, ever.