Microsoft mulled building its own Amazon

Microsoft recently considered plans to create a rival to Amazon and eBay, rolling out its own marketplace with subsidised goods to lure in new customers.

Sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal said the company only recently ditched its plans after holding talks with retailers and tech firms about equipping its online store with merchants, a shopping cart and shipping options.

The company apparently considered siphoning ad revenue from other parts of its business, like Bing, to offer cheaper goods and boost interest in the marketplace, known internally as “Project Brazil”. Since Microsoft is thought to make a fraction of Google’s search ad revenue, it isn’t clear how effective that strategy might have been.

“Project Brazil was an incubation to enable a more direct commerce model between customers and brands and merchants,” said a spokesperson for the company.

The company wouldn’t say why it had canned the plans, nor whether it would explore similar options.

“We remain committed to finding new and differentiated ways to enable a richer, more task oriented approach to e-commerce and online advertising.”

Microsoft reportedly considered integrating the new marketplace into new versions of Windows before extending it to the Xbox and Windows Phone devices, the sources said.

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