Last Friday, Microsoft’s new Windows Azure Datamarket caught a lot of press as they launched. TechCrunch wrote about how Bing favored the site in their results while Google buried the service altogether. However, there is a company with a datamarket.com -domain in Iceland. That domain holds a service, which resembles the Windows Azure Datamarket quite dramatically. We wrote about Datamarket back in May so it has been around for a while.

I had a chat with Hjalmar Gislason, the founder of Datamarket.com about their service and how they feel about Microsoft’s latest move. His short answer is that they are exploring their options. Gislason continues that, “there is a very slim chance that Microsoft has not noticed Datamarket.com in the run up to the launch of their service”.

Hjalmar Gislason:
They announced it this spring, as “Codename Dallas”, so the service in itself doesn’t surprise us. What is a surprise is that they formally announce a service, concept-wise this similar to ours, branding it exactly the same way as we’ve been doing for more than 2 years (our original website went live in November 2008, and we’ve been openly discussing our plans since then). They don’t just call it “a data market”, but use “DataMarket” with the same capitalization and all.

There’s always the possibility of coincidence, but this just looks like too the laws of mathematics a bit too much. DataMarket is a registered trademark in Iceland. Gislason states that they’ve been using the name internationally for the concept as well. DataMarket.com is also using Iceland as a test market and will expand the service to other countries eventually.

He concludes our talk that they are looking to defend their position in this at all costs. Let’s hope the costs won’t rise too high though.

However, there’s another view to all this too. If a big player like Microsoft copies your concept – there’s definitely something in the space you’re working in.

Disclosure: Microsoft is our advertising partner and has partnered with our upcoming ArcticEvening as well.

The Icelandic company:

The Microsoft Windows Azure Datamarket: