There's a reason Beer made his 2005 social network into a $5000 PHP script instead of trying to compete with MySpace or Facebook for real. Not only did Beer not have VC cash, but Beer also knew very well what first to market means, and he knew that no one really wants to sign up or buy into yet another insignificantly differentiated product or service(like soapbox).
But Beer also knew that smaller businesses wanted to emulate the business success of the first to marketers, so he sold them the software that they could to do that use if that were even possible in some alternate universe.
Even at Microsoft's size and market capital, I think the same rule applies. The Google self-driving car and Google glasses projects along with the various plug and play watches with mini-OSes coming out seem like they have good organic traction, and it would have been a better investment I think.