Further to the news that the company was planning to scale the service down, its now been revealed that Microsoft is to completely close its Soapbox site. Soapbox, launched in 2006, was Microsoft's answer to YouTube and launched as a rival, or alternative, to the Google property.

"We have decided to shut down the Soapbox feature", said Microsoft vice president and MSN "leader" Erik Jorgensen in an email to CNet. "Beginning today, July 21, we will be notifying both our customers and our internal and external partners that on July 29th, people will no longer be able to upload videos to Soapbox and on August 31st, the service will no longer be available".

Microsoft will still offer MSN Video, which claims 88 million unique users each month: "Though we'll be retiring the Soapbox service in its current form, we are committed to user-generated content and our other video offerings through MSN Video," Jorgensen said.

"We also plan to add functionality into MSN Video to easily enable bloggers and citizen journalists to upload content to share with our MSN users. Video remains an important and growing area within our overall content strategy".