Ballmer Regrets MSFT Sale of Sidewalk

As most of you probably remember, Microsoft developed local city guide and Citysearch competitor Sidewalk. It was a pretty strong site as I recall. (I almost worked there in 1998.) But feeling that it wasn’t core to the business, Microsoft sold Sidewalk to Citysearch.

Now Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer apparently regrets the decision:

In 1999, Microsoft sold Sidewalk, an online city guide service. It seemed a wayward foray outside Microsoft’s software business at the time. “But Sidewalk was really aimed at what we now call local search,” Mr. Ballmer says. “Sidewalk is one we should not have gotten out of.”

(my emphasis)

You know what? He’s right. Microsoft would be in a very different position vis-a-vis local search if it had held onto and continued to develop Sidewalk.


Source: Internet Archive (Sidewalk circa 1998)


3 Responses to “Ballmer Regrets MSFT Sale of Sidewalk”

  1. Howard Owens Says:

    I almost landed at Sidewalk in San Diego in 1996.

  2. Dick Larkin Says:

    Investing in local content requires vision and persistence.

    It is not too late for companies dedicated to the local space to develop outstanding products.

    It’s a shame that MS bailed on SideWalk, but they’re investing a ton in their new local products.

    It ain’t over by a long shot.

  3. alan Says:

    I did land there, at Sydney Sidewalk. What interesting times they were. Can’t believe how craptastic that homepage image looks now.

    Where’d you find the screendump? I wish I still had some.

    Thanks for the memories!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: