Microsoft has launched a thing with a silly name, which it's calling So.Cl. Apparently we are supposed to pronounce this as "Social" due to it being the OS giant's next big attempt at launching a full social network.

The site, which uses either a Windows Live or Facebook ID to gain access, is described by Microsoft as being an "experiment in social search." Once in, users are greeted by a slick site that seems to take quite a few design cues from Google+, along with the ability to add your interests, set up "video parties" where everyone chats about the latest hilarious YouTube clip and all the usual tagging, sharing and commenting tools you'd expect.

Obviously the site incorporates Bing as its search engine. Use the search box to hunt for something and your search term will be published in your status feed for others to see, which sounds like an interesting, if potentially life-ruining, feature to offer. Hopefully there's some sort of time limit option, like "Do not share any searches I make between 01:00am and 05:00am, because I am not my usual self at those times."

The idea is that educational types might be able to use it for collaborative research, but we suspect Microsoft also hopes the vain modern people of the world will simply like bragging about what they're looking for online. Which sounds like a very plausible concept.

The site is currently phasing its launch, mind, so some of you won't be able to try it just yet, with Microsoft placing some new registrants into an imaginary waiting list. [So.Cl via Lifehacker]