Back in 2013, WSJ revealed that Microsoft was working on a Amazon.com competitor codenamed ‘Project Brazil’. Microsoft had discussions with lots of retailers, merchants and partners regarding the same. At that time, Microsoft confirmed its existence and said that “Project Brazil was an incubation to enable a more direct commerce model between customers and brands and merchants.” They didn’t provide details on why they cancelled the project.
Now, a lawsuit from former Microsoft employees has revealed the existence of this project. George Engstrom, one of the creators of DirectX and Stockwell were responsible for this Project Brazil. Engstrom claims that Microsoft didn’t provide him enough resources to develop this project. Stockwell was successful in lining up numerous partners for this project and also identified potential acquisition targets for this project.
It would be interesting to see whether Microsoft is planning to revive its project to compete against Amazon. Google is also testing their own payment and delivery system for Google Shopping service. Google and Microsoft taking on Amazon in e-commerce may happen after all!
Regarding the lawsuit, Microsoft gave the following statement,
“We’ve carefully reviewed this case and found nothing to substantiate the speculation in the complaint or the allegation of retaliation, and we’re confident a court will agree with us. We always encourage employees to raise concerns they may have and take such reports seriously.”