Microsoft bCentral Launches Business-to-Business-Focused Auction Site With FairMarket

WOBURN, Mass., and REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 1, 2000 — Microsoft® bCentral TM small-business portal, a new Web-based business portal created to meet the needs of small and growing companies, and FairMarket SM, Inc., a leading provider of private-label, outsourced, networked auction services, today announced bCentral auctions. The site, , provides a dynamic trading place for small businesses to buy and sell everything from Web site domain names to travel accessories.

Powered by FairMarket, bCentral auctions is connected to the FairMarket Network SM , a consortium of auction sites that includes the MSN TM network of Internet services, Lycos Inc., Excite@Home,, CompUSA Inc., Dell Computer Corp., and many others. As a member of the FairMarket Network, users of bCentral have access to high-quality items from these vendors as well as listings from other participants in the bCentral community.

“The launch of the new auction capability from bCentral provides members with the opportunity to buy and sell items their companies need at prices they want to pay,”
said Deborah Whitman, director of marketing, Microsoft.
“By joining forces with FairMarket in this venture, we are able to offer an auction environment that is full of goods and services from high-quality vendors.”

The Microsoft bCentral Web-based portal was created specifically to meet the needs of small and growing companies. bCentral provides a comprehensive, affordable and integrated suite of services to help companies move their businesses forward on the Web. bCentral focuses on three core areas:

  1. Getting a business started online (includes connecting to the Web and building a business Web site)

  2. Promoting and marketing a business online

  3. Managing a business more effectively

“We are pleased to expand our relationship with Microsoft to include hosting and support of the bCentral auction,”
said Scott Randall, founder and CEO of FairMarket.
“We are confident that the small-business community will find the new service extremely useful for finding great deals on high-quality items and for building a dynamic new sales channel to augment their existing business.”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

About FairMarket

FairMarket Inc., provides online, hosted auction services and other networked market-pricing solutions. The FairMarket Network includes some of the leading portals and vendors on the Web. AuctionPlace SM is a comprehensive, outsourced, private-label solution that helps companies expand distribution and create a new online profit center. FairMarket was founded in 1997, and its corporate headquarters are located in Woburn, Mass. The company can be reached at (800) 531-7871 or via the Web at .

Microsoft, bCentral and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

FairMarket, FairMarket Network, the FairMarket logo, AuctionPlace and AutoMarkdown are service marks of FairMarket, Inc.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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