Hot on the heels of its Web news tracking service Political Streams, the Live Labs team at Microsoft has a new tool called Thumbtack. Similar to Listas,
a previous Microsoft Live Labs project, Thumbtack lets users grab
chunks of information from Web pages and store it in the cloud.
These chunks of information can be tagged, and strewn about canvas
pages as self contained eco-systems of content. Users can go in to edit
them at any time and invite others to view their work. There is however
no real-time collaboration, meaning your collection can be shared, but
not worked on at the same time.
Unlike the note-taking found in Listas, Microsoft seems to have
learned that not everyone uses Internet Explorer. To that end the
company now provides a bookmarklet that lets you grab Web content,
which is a step forward compared to Listas’ use of a installed toolbar. It gives you the option to tag and preview content before sending it to Microsoft’s servers.
The big caveat is that there’s no support for Google’s Chrome, and
minimal support Firefox. Mozilla users miss out on the special IE-only
canvas view mode which lets you maneuver your notes around a virtual
workspace. Non-IE users are also unable to use the copy function, which
lets you temporarily put an entire Thumbtack stack in your clipboard
before pasting it into another collection.
Users are given an unlimited amount of storage, which is something
that might change once the service leaves its “technology preview”
status. The application handles full-resolution photos from the Web,
although not videos, which Microsoft says will be supported in a later version.