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3/20/2006
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Microsoft Readying Windows Live Shopping

In seeking developers for its service, Microsoft said it's building "the largest structured commercial catalog in the world, ingesting data from hundreds of thousands of retailers."

Microsoft Corp. is building a Windows Live Shopping site.

Currently, all that's available is a site announcing that a beta version is "coming soon." Linked to the homepage is a help-wanted ad that gives some insight as to what's planned for the latest Live service.

Live is the brand name for the Redmond, Wash., company's Web services initiative. Microsoft has said that it plans to eventually offer all its software as service over the Internet.

In seeking developers for Windows Live Shopping, Microsoft said it's building "the largest structured commercial catalog in the world, ingesting data from hundreds of thousands of retailers." The company said it is also tackling user-generated content platforms for "reputation and incentive services," which apparently would include buyer ratings of sellers.

In addition, the company said it plans to run the product in more than 50 international markets.

In an emailed statement, Microsoft confirmed plans to launch a new shopping site, but declined to provide further details.

“As part of our Windows Live strategy, we plan to offer a Windows Live Shopping service; however, we have no specifics about this new service," the company said.

Microsoft currently has an MSN Shopping site on its MSN entertainment portal. It's not immediately clear what impact Live Shopping would have.

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