Industry News

Microsoft tests out online classified service

Ads could be offered through Microsoft's Instant Messaging

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Microsoft Corp. is internally testing an online classifieds service that would enable people to sell personal items over the company's instant messaging, social networking or local search services, media reports said Wednesday. Code-named "Fremont," a test version of the service launched a week and a half ago for Microsoft employees only, Garry Wiseman, MSN product unit manager, told Information Week. The service is scheduled to be released in beta, or test, form publicly within the "next few weeks," accounts said. Fremont gives users the option of offering goods or services only to contacts on the MSN Messenger instant-messaging service or to groups within MSN Spaces, which is the company's blogging service, reports said. In addition, people can send notifications of items for sale through e-mail domains, which would enable them to reach work colleagues, as one example, accounts said. There's also the option of listing the classifieds broadly through MSN local search, or its regula...