Posted by Ines.


Today, the crew over at Windows Live is buzzing about the release of a brand new product. Windows Live Expo is an online market which lets you buy/sell with the people you trust. Limit the scope of your searches and the visibility of your posts to just your friends, your classmates, your coworkers, your city, or not at all – you choose!

On the Messenger team, we have a soft spot for Expo. Kurt Weber and Samir Lakhani left the Messenger team to kick start development efforts on Expo. They took a dive into the exciting world of shipping a brand new Microsoft product! To kick start the Windows Live Expo release, they both took time out of their busy schedule (which includes hanging out with Snoop and Pharrell ), to answer a few of my questions regarding the launch of their new product:

  • Who is Expo being released to?
    • [Kurt]  Expo has been released to the U.S.  We started by releasing a beta internally at Microsoft a few months ago.  After having participation from over 25% of Redmond employees, we added a few companies and schools to our preview.  Today, anyone can go to Expo and buy, sell, and share.
    • [Samir]  Now users can optionally sign-up for E-mail groups consisting of their schools and/or companies, which lets them post and read listings within their community.  We think people will be more willing to buy/sell to people they know or work with.
  • How did the idea come about?
    • [Kurt]  We’ve been watching our own Microsoft internal marketplace service for the past couple of years and were inspired by employee behaviors. We also looked for ways to wrap friends into the mix and realized that integrating with MSN Messenger buddies is a natural way to accomplish this.  Regardless of the transaction – autos, housing, tickets, jobs – we noticed that trust and convenience are the key factors.  A small incubation team was chartered to explore the ideas.  Expo is the result.
  • Are there any current/future Messenger and Expo integrations plans?
    • [Kurt]  Look for integration with the contact card, tabs, more!  Simply put, we love Messenger – the more integration, the better.  It’s a cornerstone of our project.
    • [Samir]  Current integration w/ Messenger is in the contact card – it gleams when you add a listing to your MSN Space, and a subset of your new listings gets shown in the contact card for your Messenger buddies.

Go to Windows Live Expo, sign up for an account and get your shopping on!