Microsoft has previously confirmed it was looking to introduce Sina Weibo connectivity to China for use with its platforms. The micro-blogging service is a must-have for the array of products the company now has on offer. With popular social networks already available through Microsoft Accounts, it's only right that Chinese consumers be able to achieve the same level of integration.
It's an important step for Microsoft to take as consumers that reside in China (who don't have Twitter access) can now connect with other users through Sina Weibo. The switch being turned on is also part of the SkyDrive update this morning, which now also sports integration with the Chinese social network.
Once connected to a Microsoft Account, the Sina Weibo service will enable the following functionality on supported Microsoft products:
- Synchronise Sina Weibo contacts on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Outlook.com (in the respective address book app / section)
- Ability to view (as well as publish) status updates from synchronised contacts on Windows Phone and Windows 8
- SkyDrive update enables users to share links to Sina Weibo followers
LiveSide reports the rollout appears to be gradual as not all connectivity is presently available. While SkyDrive and contact synchronisation is ready to utilise, Windows Phone doesn't seem able to connect to the service and throws an "Attention required" error.
We've previously looked at the social network being found on a ZTE Windows Phone back in 2011 (as an app), which was then confirmed by Microsoft that the company was indeed bringing full service integration to its mobile platform. This will replace the lack of Facebook and Twitter found on localised devices.
It's a step in the right direction and shows Microsoft is serious about improving its platform in the Asian market, or other locations where popular Internet-based services aren't available. You can connect your Microsoft Account to Sina Weibo by heading to this Live link.
Rich Edmonds is a word conjurer at Windows Central, covering everything related to Windows, gaming, and hardware. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a device chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
The one found in ZTE Windows Phone back in 2011 is the Sina Weibo app, not the built-in one.
Updated article to better reflect this.
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