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There's a must read article in this month's Business 2.0 entitled "The Big Guns' Next Target: eBay."
The story isn't online yet, but should be shortly. Plus, it looks like they're now giving access to entire stories without a passcode.
The story focuses on the growing rivalry between Google, MSN and eBay, but is largely about the competitiveness on many fronts of the war for classifieds.
- "... Craigslist doesn't have an online payment system or an industrial-strength shopping search engine that could help it grow into a major global player ... Google and Microsoft certainly have the resources ... ."
- "Microsoft is expected to launch its listing service toward the middle of this year (as part of Windows Live). Users will be able to post classifieds for free, limit access by buddy lists, and focus listings geographically ... Google's foray, called Google Base, went live in mid-November. While still rudimentary, the beta version is a powerful foundation on which Google could build any number of products that compete with eBay."
I have yet to see MSN's 'Fremont' but it sounds like a solution employers have been clamoring for since I can remember. A solution that's free, leverages Microsoft's reach, limits results geographically and utilizes the power of social networking might be just what the doctor ordered.