Web Performance First Look: MSN Spaces

A couple of comments on the new MSN Spaces site.

  1. Your web server headers for the main page are basically not helpful, especially the Caching ones:
    Cache-Control: no-cache
    Pragma: no-cache
    Expires: -1

    "-1" is not a valid Expires entry — jest set it to the current date. "Pragma" is a client-side header ONLY.

  2. No compression? CSS, JS, and HTML file compression could save you some bandwidth and speed up the site.

The one site I looked at from an MSN staff member was an incredibly busy wild mess. But usability and site design are only things that I comment on.

Be interesting to see this try and evolve. Steve Rubel has a link to some of Steve Ballmer’s comments. He also links to a previous article that discusses the "Pearl Harbor" email in 1995 when BGates discovered the Web.

I think that this is a bit far-fetched on Mr. Rubel’s part. Unlike 1995, Microsoft does not carry the goodwill and universal support that followed it’s release of MSIE. Even if they get it right in version 3.0, Google, TypePad and other players will not allow them to dominate. They may be able to release a blogging product that integrates into IIS (oh wait! what database will it use…you need a license for SQL server too!), but that will only allow other companies to open in competition to the Spaces offering.

Yes, the MSN move may move blogging to a more mainstream audience, but the other players in the field will just move-in.

My thought is that 2005 will be the year of corporate consolidation in the blogosphere. Yahoo will acquire one of the major services (TypePad and Radio Userland come to mind), and Blogger will become more tightly integrated with the other Google offerings. It will be like the portal wars all over again.

Will be fun.

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