James Governor's Monkchips

On Microsoft Live futures and Craiglist competitors

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I had an interesting briefing the other day with Phil Holden, a senior MSN evangelist from Redmond, and the EMEA head of the business, Geoff Sutton.
Decent demos, some nice back and forth. I was particularly impressed that Geoff emailed me that same afternoon to clarify an issue we had discussed. Many execs would not have bothered.
Anyway – for some reason they made me sign a blanket NDA. Needless to say I didn’t blog any of the content.
It looks like the shoe dropped however at the Search Champs event, and rather than regurgitate, I will just point to Richard McManus, who nails the news.
My own additional notes:
Microsoft is preparing to take on Craiglist with a classified service of its own dubbed Fremont, which is currently under internal beta. It already has some interesting localisation features, and potential for friend of a friend trust models. I don’t think any major corporate is going to be able to take out Craiglist from a community perspective though, given that Craig is still doing no evil.
A neat wrinkle of the new Live.com personal AJAX-enabled portal where you can easily establish your own page layouts, is the inclusion of “gadgets” that pull data from services such as flickr, but also from google. Microsoft is going to offer Live customers the ability to easily suck and play with a range of data services. The major question for me is in light of that is the question of ad-supported business models. Are we going to see an ad-stripping arms race between Google and Microsoft. I mean, if Google includes an ad in a feed, or vice versa, how will the services handle that in terms of presentation? I see lawsuits in our web 2.0 futures. Whose Real Estate is it anyway… not the end users that’s for sure… This could be Fair Play/Plays for Sure all over again.
disclaimer – Microsoft Servers and Tools is a customer, but MSN is not.

One comment

  1. Hi James:
    Sure MS can come with Fremont and othere big ideas, but honestly I don’t think MS can do a better job. I tried their Live Domains and it’s a pain to setup.Check out
    http://patil.wordpress.com/2006/01/03/google-base-to-classifieds/ to get an idea on how big Google’s classifieds is.

    MS doesn’t seem to understand web-services. They are kind of flip-flop. Sometimes it’s server-equal-service sometimes they are the tools and software company. Their was lot of money to be made in Blogging tools. Do you know SixApart’s valuation and it’s revenues ? Where is MS ?

    One should innovate to compete with Google. It’s not Borland or Novell.

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