Microsoft jumped into Craigslist’s pool and realized it couldn’t keep its head above water. Launched in 2006 as a new free listings service, Windows Live Expo, was discontinued on July 31.
Its draw was enabling users to buy and sell merchandise, discover local events, find new jobs, or find a place to live. Products on Expo were listed by postal code, offering users the option to search for items within a 25-mile radius of their location.
Even with its services being tied into other Microsoft products, like the ability to limit listings to e-mail or IM contacts, the site never came close to the recognition and popularity of Craigslist.
Lesson Learned: If you’re going to take on a well-established competitor, you better offer something special.
Photo by Microsoft.