Yesterday we had told you how Microsoft was caught with their pants down, when Plurk accused them of outright design and code theft. Though Microsoft did not react much initially, they have now released a press statement which apologizes to Plurk for the design theft.
On Monday, December 14, questions arose over a beta application called Juku developed by a Chinese vendor for our MSN China joint venture. We immediately worked with our MSN China joint venture to investigate the situation.
The vendor has now acknowledged that a portion of the code they provided was indeed copied. This was in clear violation of the vendor’s contract with the MSN China joint venture, and equally inconsistent with Microsoft’s policies respecting intellectual property.
In the statement, Microsoft said that they had recruited a third party vendor to develop Juku, who in turn have acknowledged that a portion of the code was indeed copied over from Plurk, their closest competitor.
This is the second time that Microsoft has had to apologize on behalf of code lifted by third party vendors. This time around they have had to publicly apologize to Plurk.
We are obviously very disappointed, but we assume responsibility for this situation. We apologize to Plurk and we will be reaching out to them directly to explain what happened and the steps we have taken to resolve the situation.
In the wake of this incident, Microsoft and our MSN China joint venture will be taking a look at our practices around applications code provided by third-party vendors.
This leaves me wondering why Microsoft cannot employ some decent developers to do the job for them?