Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft recently scrapped a top secret ecommerce project that sounds like it would have pitted it against the likes of Amazon and eBay.
The initiative was code-named "Project Brazil," The Wall Street Journal's Greg Bensinger and Shira Ovide reported Thursday, quoting anonymous sources.
Microsoft wanted to build an online marketplace where people could buy products from various retailers, pay for them using a single shopping cart, and choose from a bunch of different shipping options, according to Wall Street Journal report.
But a Microsoft spokesperson told us the project, which was recently cancelled, wasn't intended to compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon.
" It is inaccurate to characterize Project Brazil as conceived to compete with Amazon or eBay," the Microsoft spokesperson said in an email.
Microsoft has dabbled in ecommerce before with Live Search Cashback, a program launched in 2008 which paid people for buying products found through its search engine. That was eventually renamed Bing Cashback, and Microsoft shuttered the program in June 2010.
Not long after, we reported that Amazon was talking with Microsoft about owning the shopping related search results from Bing.
Microsoft isn’t playing in the online retail space, so it has nothing to lose by trying to disrupt it, Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told us in an email.
"Had Microsoft built this, they would have easily become one of the top credit card holders and have a leading e-commerce platform," Moorhead said. " So I see why they may have considered it."
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