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Monday, May 1, 2006

Microsoft Debuts New Windows Shopping Portal

Posted by @ 6:06 pm
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Microsoft recently launched its new Windows Live Shopping website designed to compliment its existing MSN shopping portal. Whilst the MSN portal will remain the core Microsoft shopping real estate in the short term, Windows Live Shopping is surely a sign of things to come.

With all the hype that has engulfed the online shopping portal arena with the emergence of Google Base and the ongoing sagas of eBay, this latest initiative by Microsoft is aimed at placing them ahead of the competition.

Windows Live Shopping, like all the Live.com services is designed using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) the backbone of Web 2.0 development. What does this mean for online consumers? The new Windows Live Shopping offers users significantly higher levels of customization and hence a more enjoyable shopping experience.

Windows Live Shopping includes the ability to create custom shopping lists, visitor created shopping guides, user “tagging” of products, integration with new Microsoft Gadgets and apparently better ratings and reviews.

The ability to tailor ones shopping experience is a going to be a sure fire hit with online consumers, but controversially Microsoft has chosen not to release a Firefox compatible version at this stage. It is this fact that is overshadowing Windows Live Shopping’s launch. With the interest that Google is placing in Firefox support, this could be Microsoft asserting itself in the browser wars. Considering the rapid increase in Firefox adoption across the online community, this would be a dangerous move.

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Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of ineedhits.com - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for Gooruze.com - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

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