Microsoft Vine was in beta testing to fulfill a service to provide emergency communications in case of a natural or man-made disaster.

Although it was getting some good feedback during the beta I think this decision is likely driven by other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.  They have shown an ability to provide a quick means of communications in an emergency situation and so Vine may be redundant in the long haul.

You never know though – elements of this service may very well surface in the future – other Microsoft test software has done that before.

The decision to shut down Vine was sent to users this past week via this email:

Thank you for your valuable collaboration and participation in the Microsoft Vine beta program over the past year.

Releasing products and services in beta form gives us a way to learn and adapt our technologies in a real world environment, to gather valuable feedback from our customers and partners and ensure that new models are sustainable.

And more specifically, the Microsoft Vine invitation-only beta program was designed to garner participation and subsequent feedback from consumers, communities and governments about the challenges they face today and explore how technology can improve and enhance communications.

Despite positive feedback from customers like you over the course of Vine’s private beta, Microsoft has made the decision to discontinue Microsoft Vine effective October 11, 2010. After this date, you will no longer be able to access Microsoft Vine. We suggest that you record any contact information currently stored in Vine, prior to October 11th.

The decision to discontinue future development of Microsoft Vine was not easily made. Multiple options were thoroughly explored and evaluated with rigor and in the end it was determined that Microsoft Vine is not sustainable as a standalone offering.

Thank you again for your valuable feedback on this product. The key learnings acquired over the past year from the Vine beta will be used to inform and strengthen future product concepts and offerings.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email