Microsoft & advertising

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.



  1. Michael says:

    That’s funny. I was also giving a post in my blog about how Microsoft seems to be really serious in the ad department. They must really be doing stuff to get people to talk about it.

    Don’t take this as blog spam, but I wrote a lot about how Microsoft is working on inking major deals, and the future of WindowsLive/MSN ads. If you’re interested:!1CA34B674D84900!382.entry

  2. Michael says:

    Whoops, the link didn’t go all the way. Sorry. I guess you could copy and paste.

  3. Bart says:

    It’s weird that Microsoft focuses on the ad business solely because Google does. I though Microsoft core business is building operating systems, software and hardware? Or am I wrong? Why don’t they spend time on improving their browser instead? I think they really lost focus.

  4. Kris Hoet says:

    @Bart: MSFT is in the ad business for several years, but sees the growing opportunity and that’s why the focus is there. This doesn’t mean though that this is now where everyone in the company is working on. MSFT hired about 12.000 people last year to work on many different part of the business.

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