Microsoft Has Uphill Battle Against Craigslist

from the goliath-and-david dept

Because the free classifieds market isn’t crowded enough, Microsoft has decided to take a stab at the Craigslist-dominated industry. The new service, called Expo, hopes to beat Craigslist by leveraging Microsoft’s network of users. For example, users of MSN messenger will be able to see which of their friends currently has something for sale on the site. But is there really demand, among buyers, to limit their purchases to just their IM buddies? If so, it’s a small niche. Expo is also able to sync up real estate listings with a satellite image of the home, a cool feature, but one that Craigslist could probably whip up in an afternoon using Google Earth, as Zillow already has. Almost any feature can be copied easily, so there really aren’t barriers to entry in this space. The only way to prosper is to have a community. In this measure, Craigslist holds the trump card, their freewheeling uncensored bulletin boards where people rant about politics, sex, and bicyclists’ rights. In the absence of having anything to buy or sell, people come back to the site just to read the posts. Unless Expo can replicate this, it’s going to tough for them to gain in this area.

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Comments on “Microsoft Has Uphill Battle Against Craigslist”

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Bill Ross (user link) says:

The octpus extends a new tenticle

So how many business models is M$ going to reach into in an attempt to turn into a possible licensing opportunity? There’s such a thing a spreading yourself too thin. There’s also the legacy of failed business plans in the Microsoft stable that would seem to indicate they either don’t want to or fail to learn from mistakes. I guess if you are made of cash it doesn’t matter.

Happy User says:

Donald Trump didn’t always make the correct decisions in his past, but surely he has made many correct ones. Same could be said for Microsoft. The only difference between these two in this example, is that Microsoft has performed many of it’s decisions under public scrutiny. And much of the public is too ignorant (jealous?) to praise MS for it’s success, but rather enjoys paying attention to it’s failures.

So for all the fan-boys who enjoy bashing MS – ask yourself why you are not successful – or even well known…. such as Microsoft is, for example.

Microsoft SUCKS!!! says:

Ha Ha!!!

Well as I sit here at work and type on this POS that they call a DELL that has MS products on it. I tend to go and use everything that is not MS at all. I can stand M$. Biggest Damn company in the world but yet they will still go around and steal things. But goddess forbid these people release there source code or have it leak out. But hey I guess there always seems to be a M$ lover around cause they just accept the Politcs that the create.

sickboy76 (user link) says:

what the F$

okay dorks. i am sitting here sifting through your bulls#!% and the only common variable i can find between you all is that everyone who seems to bash M$ here is an outright idiot. fine, don’t like M$ all you want. but when in a public forum talking about how gay they are or how lame bill is, at least don’t look like the biggest drop out on the web. try and proof read what the hell you’re typing. to bash someone with 3rd grade grammer and every other word spelled wrong just makes them look that much better than you. thus, defeating the purpose of even writing. anyway, who cares if they fail or not. if it’s a free add listing service, what the F do you care, just don’t use it. and get on with life. instead of wasting your time here bashing M$ don’t you need to be finding patches and updates for your crap-ass linux box? get to work and stop waisting peoples time who would rather pay for something that works than talk crap about it on an o.s. that blows without hours of searching for the right patch.

Grammar Teacher/Debate Instructor says:

Re: what the F$

I agree with you but are you seriously criticizing the others’ spelling and “grammer”? Your own writing could use a few corrections.

Maybe those who enjoy M$ bashing could, in addition to using proper grammar, actually make a point instead of saying things like, “M$ is gay.” Does that have something to do with the quality of their product. Why don’t you just insult Bill’s mother?

Tyshaun says:

Who cares if they steal?

Aren’t we kinda missing the point here? To me, it’s not so much who’s first to generate a product, but who does it the best or has the largest marketshare. Sure, in pot smoking eutopia whoever is first to market with a good idea would enjoy eternally all the accolades and financial benefits of that idea, HOWEVER, in the real world, first to market means you have about 6 months before 500 clones of your product come out and you better hope yours is the best implementation. iPod has survived not because it was one of the first to market, but because it’s actually a good product that can stave off the competition. Kind of like the way we talk about patent hogs, it’s not about having the patent, but what you do with it.

To Craigslist I say good luck and welcome to the game known as free market economies. May you live long enough to feast on the rotting carcass of your competition (or at least not be the main course)! BTW, just wondering why no one has asked the obvious question, why does Micosoft want into this area anyway, aside from some possible ad placement revenue? Seems like a money loser to me.

Scoffo says:

Re: Who cares if they steal?

Finally someone with a valid point!!!!! you are completely right about the free market point and my best wishes to them also..

now im not the biggest fan of Bill Gates or microsoft (thank you “pirates of silcon vally” but at the end of the day im sat here using a PC as im sure alot of the ppl that slag him are doing aswell.. food for thought ^^

oh and its been my experience never slag someone for bad spelling coz its at that point u always make a spelling mistake yourself lol

Derek Reed says:

The more the merrier

I for one welcome the crowded marketplace. I think the ui of expo is already far more intuitive and user friendly than google base, craiglist, or ebay. If nothing else, any ground they gain, will encourage the competetion to re-evaluate any advantages MS has here.

I mean, the use of white space is admirable. I can clearly see what region I’m viewing. I can clearly see what categories are available.

Oh yeah … google is good, MS is bad.

Moogle says:

Spread to thin? Or too much to spread?

People comment on MS spreading themselves too thin. I think the opposite might be true, however. They seem to have such an unbelievable income that they’re getting diminishing returns by investing any more in devloping existing products. Adding more engineers is certainly not always the right answer, and paying them more doesn’t really do much if they’re already happy.

So it’s actually probably more worthwhile to do silly crap like this on the off chance that it generates income. Kinda like Google, but with a much larger, more stable base. I wouldn’t say they’re more effective at it, but it seems to be the trend.

Why do Macs have MS Word? says:

Somebody free me from the idiocy of those who use Macs. Sure, they are easier to use, but there is no good software for them. I have both a Mac and a PC, and ,while about 3% of products run on Macs, Apple doesn’t even have its own version of Word. Every Mac I have seen has Microsoft Word. If you are going to make fun of someone, try not using their products.

AnalogyMan (profile) says:

MS learns from mistakes

“There’s also the legacy of failed business plans in the Microsoft stable that would seem to indicate they either don’t want to or fail to learn from mistakes. I guess if you are made of cash it doesn’t matter.”

a lot of businesses have things that they have tried and failed. those that are still around succeed more than they have failed.

MS is made of cash because they have been successful over the past 25 years.

Mac hasn’t been as successful, and neither has linux.

not even put together.

you can always come up with excuses, “the sun was in my eye”, “they did this, they did that, I wasn’t prepared…” but over 25 years M$ has shown they know their stuff better than their competitors.

sounds like there are a lot of sore second, third and 10’th place holders out there.

are they ‘losers’? well, they certainly didn’t come in first.

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