Microsoft Corp. and eBay Inc. announced a strategic alliance Monday, pledging to work together to expand their collective reach online and to make their software work well together.
The deal, with undisclosed financial terms, calls for eBay to support Microsoft's .NET initiative, linking eBay's community-based commerce engine -- the software allowing sellers to list items for auction and site visitors to bid -- to Web developers as an XML-based Web service. The two companies intend for Web sites supporting .NET technology to be able to list relevant items up for auction on eBay through an XML interface.
Microsoft will integrate eBay's marketplace into a number of its Web properties later this year, including select MSN Internet service sites worldwide; the automotive sales and advice site Carpoint; the small business service bCentral; and interactive television service WebTV, according to the release. Carpoint, for example, will use eBay auctions for automotive parts and used car listings.
Also, eBay agreed to use Microsoft technology in its site operations, including Windows 2000 Server on its front-end servers and Microsoft Passport for customer registration and sign in.