Microsoft is developing a free online service that will allow people to list items for sale, events and other classifieds type of information that can be shared either with select groups of friends or anyone over the Internet, the company said Tuesday.
The service, code-named Fremont, has been in internal testing at Microsoft for about a week and a half, Garry Wiseman, MSN product unit manager, told CNET News.com in an interview. He said he could not say when it would be available publicly.
“Basically, it will be a free listing service, with a bunch of twists to make it very unique, such as integration with social networks, in particular integration with MSN Messenger,” he said.
Ads relevant to the listing will appear alongside the search results, he added.
There’s more info including the tie-in with Windows Live Local (formerly Virtual Earth) by following the link. In comparison with Google Base:
“We started this before anyone knew about Google Base. Having seen what Google Base is doing, I don’t think they were aiming for a classifieds service,” Wiseman said. “They don’t have a taxonomy of listings like we do. They see it as an open database.”
Which was my take as well.
“People talk about Google Base as a classifieds play, but there is some uncertainty about that,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst at The Kelsey Group. “This (Fremont) is unmistakably a classifieds service,” and an “impressive” one at that.
Google is going to have to crisp up the Google Base offering beyond “indexing the world’s data” if they want to play in the classified space.