But Google and Microsoft aren't satisfied with just a window on the action. Both tech titans want to harness their own resources in social networking. Google wants its Gmail customers to share the sort of tidbits that they'd normally post on Facebook, or send out in a Tweet.

And Microsoft Wednesday expanded its efforts with business networking hub LinkedIn by adding Facebook and News Corps' ( NWS) MySpace to its Outlook email partnership. Microsoft Outlook users will presumably be able to receive their friends' LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace updates in Outlook as emails in their inboxes.

Google wants to go further. Not only does Google want to host the networking party in Buzz, it wants to make Buzz publicly searchable. The problem for Google however, is that people may not stick around long enough to share anything interesting.

-- Written by Scott Moritz in New York

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