It seems that everyone wants a piece of lucrative online classified market. Where once eBay and Craigslist were the main sites for online classifieds, more recently the market is becoming overcrowded, with newcomers appearing every week.
Google stepped into the arena with a classified orientated service in Google Base which will be supported by the new Google payment system currently under development. Not to be left behind, Microsoft are the latest group to delve into the classified market, having just launched their beta classified site – Windows Live Expo.
Microsoft have been testing the site for months, both internally and then through businesses and universities in the Seattle area. Obviously happy with the testing to date, they recently opened the site up to the users nationwide (U.S only).
They are hoping their system, which links free classifieds to social networks, will help it take a significant share of the highly competitive online classified market. Garry Wiseman, product manager for Windows Live Expo, was quoted as saying: “What sets Windows Live Expo apart is that people can set their own search parameters for goods and services. They can define their own marketplace universe.”
So with more control over listings, based on social network preferences, integration with Microsoft Messenger for instant communication with sellers/buyers, and mapping of listings using MSN’s Virtual Earth service, will Windows Live Expo offer a genuine challenge to the likes of eBay and Craigslist? Only time will tell. But why don’t you test the new service for yourself – it’s free.