Microsoft accused of plagiarism

Microsoft suspends MSN Juku as it investigates claims
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Microsoft suspends MSN Juku as it investigates claims

An Asian start-up micro-blogging site has accused Microsoft of stealing its design and code.

The start-up firm, Plurk, yesterday posted a blog accusing the software giant of ripping off its design, accompanied by screen shorts of its own site and MSN Juku, a micro-blogging site recently launched in Asia by Microsoft.

“We were first tipped off by high profile bloggers and Taiwanese users of our community that Microsoft had just launched a new Chinese microblogging service that looked eerily similar to Plurk. Needless to say we were absolutely shocked and outraged when we first saw with our own eyes the cosmetic similarities Microsoft’s new offering had with Plurk,” the blog said.

From the screenshots, Plurk and MSN Juku do appear practically identical, and the start-up argues that 80 per cent of the client and product code base looks like it was also copied.

A Plurk spokesman told the Financial Times that the company was not seeking to press charges a this stage, but just wanted MSN Juku shut down.

Microsoft told Reuters that it had suspended MSN Juku while it investigated the matter.