For me it was quite clear for a while that Microsoft was taking the advertising business very seriously, but that was probably because the shift in focus we saw several months ago already. Also the re-org from MSN Sales to Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, was a clear sign that this is not just about banners on MSN anymore. All of this didn’t really catch on immediately though in business.
Today I noticed quite a few posts in my feed reader that show people do now see that shift as well, and the words of Steve Ballmer during the analyst meeting made sure everyone understands we are serious about this:
“We are hell-bent and determined to allocate the talent, the resources, the money, the innovation to absolutely become a powerhouse in the ad business”
Most of the post that are talking about this are a direct result of the analyst meeting, the development of Silverlight, the advertising agreement with Digg, the acquisitions of aQuantive and AdECN, the deal with Massive and EA Sports, … With these deals it’s clear we’re out of the ‘playing around’ phase into the “we’re not f*cking around phase” – dixit John Batelle.