Microsoft have expanded Beta testing of Windows Live Expo and opened it up to the general public. This means you no longer need an invitation or be on a waiting list to log on and take a look around. So what’s Expo all about? According to Microsoft:
With Expo you can:
Trade exclusively with those you trust, like your colleagues or schoolmates, using Expo Communities.
Search for items locally or across the UK using the integrated Windows Live Local maps.
List items quickly and easily, and most importantly, for free
Well it all sounds great at first glance, but my friends and colleagues know what I do and ask me if they want to buy from me. Of course it’ll be great for large companies to be able to build communities for their employees or for schools to effectively run swap shops for pupils.
It’s not just about buying and selling though – Windows Live Expo is more of a competitor to gumtree than the eBay core site. Gumtree is eBay’s online version of your local papers free ads, although items for sale on Expo are organised according to category rather than as with Gumtree by date of posting. This does at least make it easier to browse, Gumtree has no sort options other than keyword search.
As Expo is still in Beta finding people listing links for games consoles (albeit for free) doesn’t fill me with confidence. All in all it’s worth signing up for to reserve your user id, but I wouldn’t waste time on it yet.