Microsoft 'Fremont' to Rival Google Base

Microsoft has plans to launch an online marketplace similar to Google Base, according to statements made by the company on Tuesday. Codenamed "Fremont", the service will allow users to post listings akin to the way the popular classifieds Craigslist site operates.

Fremont will also be tied into the company's new Live.com, where users will be able to view local listings from their personalized pages. Microsoft has begun testing the service from fremont.live.com, however access has been restricted to Redmond employees.

A wider public test will begin later this month, Microsoft officials said.

Google says that its Google Base product enables users to upload all types of information and make it searchable online. The service can act as a giant Web database for everything from recipes to classifieds. But at least for now, Google has shied away from calling it a competitor to Craiglist.

However, both Microsoft and Google seem to realize the potential of such sites -- both for its ability to drive traffic, as well as provide another avenue for the companies to sell lucrative Web advertising.

According to TechCrunch, which first reported the project, the final name for the service has not been decided. While Microsoft is not providing a sneak peek of Freemont to the press, Michael Arrington saw a demo of the product. "It's very cool and will definitely shake things up," he wrote on Monday.

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