WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Newspaper publishers are about to confront yet another competitor for their dwindling classified advertising revenues.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is reported hoping soon to offer a preliminary version of an online classified service, code named "Fremont." That’s a neighborhood in Seattle which hosts Sunday open air markets.
"We realized the classified marketplace was really starting to heat up," Garry Wiseman, a product unit manager working on the project, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The service will be free to users, generating revenue for Microsoft through ads placed next to listings, the newspaper added.
"Fremont" is expected to be a stand-alone service as well as available throughout MSN’s either features such as Spaces Web logs and Messenger buddy lists.
The online classifieds project is now being tested internally at Microsoft, the report said. It also appears a live beta test is underway at http://fremont.live.com.
(Note this is an INTERNAL test meaning that only Microsoft employees are able to access it.)