Nicole on the Windows Live Messenger team posted news of Windows Live Messenger beta invites being auctioned on eBay. The WLM team even has a pool to see how high the bid price for an invite will go. Of course, I’m still giving away WLM invites for free, although it’s a long, slow process. To date, I’ve only been given 13 invites to share (and yes, they’ve already been given out).
You can argue the ethics of auctioning off an invite to beta test a product that Microsoft will give away for free, but early Gmail users will remember a similar phenomenon when Google begain testing their email service.