Microsoft is calling it an accident but for a little while yesterday visitors to socl.com were greeted with a project codenamed Tulalip (name of a Native American tribe in Western Washington) which offered to help you "find what you need and share what you know easier than ever" with connections to Facebook and Twitter built in. The design seemed to mirror the panel layout of a Windows phone. Turns out to have been a bit of a whoopsie. If you go there now you get a static screen that says "Thanks for stopping by. Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn't mean to, honest."
So make of all that what you will. Is Microsoft jumping in to social? Dunno. One thing they do have going for them is that other social companies like Facebook and Twitter really like them and mix with Microsoft better than Google or Apple.