Microsoft Says It's Scrapped Plans For Ecommerce Site And Denies Claims That It Was An Amazon Clone

steve ballmer microsoftMicrosoft 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 Microsoft recently canceled the project, and a spokesperson told PCWorld it wasn’t intended to compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon.

“It is inaccurate to characterise Project Brazil as conceived to compete with Amazon or eBay,” the Microsoft spokesperson told PCWorld. 

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.”

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.