Microsoft was recently working on an Amazon, eBay competitor

By on June 21, 2013, 7:45 AM
amazon, microsoft, ebay, e-commerce, online retail, project brazil

Microsoft recently toyed with the idea of building an e-commerce marketplace that would have competed with the likes of Amazon and eBay. People with knowledge of the plans said Redmond held talks with retailers as well as other tech companies about all sorts of ideas like a unified shopping cart and broad shipping options but ultimately, the plans fizzled.

The incubation, as a Microsoft spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal, was called Project Brazil – no doubt a reference to Amazon. Microsoft was even planning to subsidize the cost of goods using advertising dollars from Bing. We are told the service would have been integrated into future versions of Windows as well as on tablets and eventually, other devices like the Xbox One.

It’s unclear exactly when or why Microsoft pulled the plug on Project Brazil. While it might have been a good idea for customers looking to save a few bucks, it probably wasn’t in Microsoft’s best interest to move forward with the project. Considering that Microsoft accounted for less than four percent of all search ad revenue in 2012, subsidizing the price of goods might not have worked out so well.

We do know, however, that Microsoft is very interested in a task-oriented and direct approach to online commerce as well as online advertising. Furthermore, the idea of an online marketplace demonstrates the fact that Microsoft is actively on the hunt for more revenue and If there’s one industry that’s ripe for the picking, it’s the billion dollar a year e-commerce industry.

User Comments: 7

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VitalyT VitalyT said:

Funny title in the Internet for this - Microsoft tried to create Amazon killer, because the way Microsoft attempts these things now, my money is on this next abomination turning on its creator yet again.

Microsoft has been vigorously collecting the worst PR they could find. XBox One was the most recent one. And now cometh the boom

2 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Why not try to compete with Amazon at a marketplace, they tried to compete with Google on search. They'd do better off competing with IBM at business consulting. MS just feels like the kid in school who always wanted to hang out with the cool kids, but just isn't good enough at sports or popular enough with the girls. Hip commercials for the Surface, Bing, Win 8 over-innovation, XB1 DRM fiasco, and now we find out they were thinking of taking on Amazon. Full points for effort guys, seriously, but stick to what you're good at. Boring, useful, productive software.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

This is a jack-of-all-trades look at things, to be student of everything and master of nothing, all the while most people want very few but high quality things from Microsoft, like Windows, Office, and just highest quality software in general. If they fail at that, it doesn't matter what else they get into, it won't matter much. Their focus is shifting frequently, and not for the better.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

They way MS has blundered recently it's difficult to take them seriously now. It'll be a long hard struggle for them.

dikbozo said:

It seems to me the horses and cows of this idea are long since over the hill and the barn door has lnog since been closed and nailed shut. I wonder who woke up the dreamer?

Guest said:

Why the name chosen wasn't "Ukraine" ?

OortCloud said:

It's just like Amazon or Ebay, except you have take the receipt for your purchases back to the store everyday to prove they are yours, you can't buy things from overseas and you are not allowed to sell your purchases to other people.

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