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Microsoft Ready To List Classifieds

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The company plans to have its “Fremont” online classifieds service become part of Windows Live, and let users of various MSN services offer items for sale.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer said “Fremont” is a Seattle neighborhood with a popular Sunday open market for sellers and buyers. It’s also the codename for Microsoft’s entry into the online classifieds field.

Community-based classifieds site Craigslist has had the field practically to itself, but now sees Fremont join Google Base in reaching for the classifieds audience. “We realized that the classified marketplace was really starting to heat up,” Garry Wiseman, a Microsoft product unit manager said in the report.

“We’d seen a lot of other sites out there be very successful, and they were growing in numbers, and it was quite clear, based on where the online classified space was heading, that we could play a unique role.”

Microsoft will make Fremont free for users, and like Google plans to display advertising alongside listings to derive revenue from the service. Users of MSN services like Spaces or Messenger can use Fremont to offer items to visitors to Spaces’ blogs or to buddy list members on Messenger.

The company should be able to profit from Fremont despite the competition. A Gartner analyst cited in the report said: “There’s room for more than one player here, there’s room for more than two players. It’s a revenue opportunity for Microsoft, clearly, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t participate in the game.”

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

Microsoft Ready To List Classifieds
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