Microsoft Fremont Becomes An Expo

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Fans of classifieds sites can breathe easier, as Microsoft plans to unveil its Windows Live Expo to beta testers in the coming months.

Microsoft’s “Fremont” project recently picked up a name change, to Windows Live Expo, which once again shows that the marketing folks in Redmond have yet to meet a product name they couldn’t elongate.

Users interested in participating in Microsoft’s challenge to Google Base/Craigslist/eBay/Oodle can visit the signup page for Expo and get a heads-up email when it becomes available. How long will they have to wait? It could be a while.

Garry Wiseman, Fremont’s product unit manager, wrote at the Team Expo blog during CES 2006 that the date isn’t set “in stone”:

Anyway, one of the primary reasons I didn’t want us to set a date in stone for launching is because I felt that we should have the flexibility to decide when the product was of decent enough quality to launch (which could be earlier or later than any date we’d plucked out of the air).

Microsoft’s hand got forced a bit when someone in their China operations made an internal email about Fremont, sorry, Windows Live Expo, available by posting it to a blog on Spaces. That email announced the opening of Fremont to internal testing.

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch posted a screenshot of the Expo beta, showing categories including Autos, Events, Housing, Jobs, and Merchandise. Microsoft bills Windows Live Expo as an “online marketplace and social networking site;” the original Fremont name comes from an open Sunday market favored by Microsofties in that section of Seattle.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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