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Microsoft Unveils Online Advertising Service 180

Posted by Zonk
from the yahoo-and-google-gulp dept.
jwb4273 writes "Microsoft has released another weapon in its battle against Google. Steve Ballmer has announced today that Microsoft's web properties (MSN, Live, etc.) will no longer use Yahoo!'s advertising services, and will instead use Microsoft's new advertising platform 'adCenter'. For wanting to go in together with Yahoo, this seems like the wrong start for a good relationship."
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Microsoft Unveils Online Advertising Service

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:30AM (#15263296) Journal
    Search isn't the only place where adCenter will place advertising. In the future, Microsoft said, it expects to launch ads in e-mail, the Spaces blogging program, on mobile applications, in Office and on the Xbox.com Web site.
    That's wonderful! If there's one thing I enjoy about watching television, it's when my favorite program cuts to commercials and there's a guy with an annoying voice repeating everything. Damn, I just get elated at the prospect of someone soliciting products & services to me non-stop.

    Yeah, I also like it when I'm trying to read an article and a 20mb flash application kicks up on top of what I'm trying to read telling me about Toyota's Western Washington specials. Like TFA's advertisements. That sure is awesome.

    I love turning on the radio because I'm not looking for music, I'm looking for annoying talk about some product I'm missing out on. There's nothing like nodding your head to a good advertisement of a Fat Bastard impersonator trying to get you to come to Bub's Bar & Grill.

    And now you want to make my mobile device throw random messages at me. Hey, maybe you can interrupt my personal telephone calls with advertisements from an annoying sounding person! That would be great.

    And advertising in my productivity applications! And my games! *eye twitches* That's just ... great , it really is.

    But why stop there? What boundaries does my personal life have yet that you have failed to knock down adn ignore? What about the novels I read? Can they have advertisements that cover up the words until I read them? Or maybe you could make software that injects product placement into scripts and storylines?

    In fact, I love advertisements so much, you can tattoo me and inject electrodes into my head so all I do is think about Microsoft and how badly I want the XBox 360. Yes, I would finally be able to die happy!

    If you hadn't noticed, I was being sarcastic.
    • by Internet Ronin (919897) <internet,ronin&gmail,com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:41AM (#15263387)
      I'm just waiting for the day when I'm in the middle of sex and my condom reminds me that a wide variety of complementary lubes, toys, emergency contraceptives, massage oils, sheets, mattresses, and porn are available.

      This is of course assuming I can get laid...
    • I have no problem with unobtrusive ads in searches or hotmail and what not. Howerver, I *DO* have a problem w/ them in Office which I may have shelled money out for. Or any mobile application I may have paid for. Ads are to generate money so you *don't* have to pay to subscribe. If you're gonna put ads in bought for programs, then just make it Open Source and I'll happily click on an ad or two.
      • Why does everyone flip out at the sound of ads, taking stands on a very black and white view of possible business model and channels of delivery.

        Given the ubiquity of MS Office, think of how it might benefit small businesses and the general productivity if the layman of Microsoft floated a lighter version of MS Office for "free", where it would place ads.

        It would be truly foolish to think that Microsoft would want to place obtrusive or not-so-well-thought-out ad-strategies in its top-shelf products th
        • Why does everyone flip out at the sound of ads, taking stands on a very black and white view of possible business model and channels of delivery.

          Because our civilization has become bogged down by intrusive marketing. Beautiful vistas ruined by ugly billboards, magazine articles cut in half to make space glitzy adverts, pop up ads when you're trying to read something on a web page, there's a point at which some of us just want to take the nearest marketer and plunge something sharp and pointy into their

          • there's a point at which some of us just want to take the nearest marketer and plunge something sharp and pointy into their head.

            Please aim for the chest.
            Or do you really expect to hit anything worthwhile when plunging into the head?
    • "Search isn't the only place where adCenter will place advertising. In the future, Microsoft said, it expects to launch ads in e-mail, the Spaces blogging program, on mobile applications, in Office and on the Xbox.com Web site." And embedded in Media Player, all upcoming Xbox games, your checking account, your home, your wife, your kids, and the dog.
    • by dougman (908) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:01PM (#15263577)
      Not to nitpick, but TFA doesn't say anything about adCenter on your games. It says "xbox.com", not xbox.

      TFA doesn't give much detail either, so I'll wait to see if it really shows up in Office. I'd be VERY surprised to see that happen. What I can imagine is a stripped down freebie version that has ads to get eyeballs and to keep folks from switching to OpenOffice.
      • Can you imagine what the ads would be like in Office? As soon as you type in, say, "computer" into your Word document, Clippy [wikipedia.org] pops up, does a little jigg, and says:

        It looks like you're interested in buying a computer!

        Would you like help?

        <shudder />

        • Some sites already do something liketo this! Thanks to the magic of DHTML, the website operator can include a Javascript at the end of the article, that goes through the article and turn words to links, which, when you mouse-over them, show tooltips with ads in them! Luckily for me, they're easily disabled with Proxomitron [proxomitron.info].
      • Freebie version? Nah... lower cost version ... maybe.

        I expect the educational version, and standard version (for
        "home use") will include ads in the near future. Only the corporate enterprises licenses will dodge them for any length of time.

        I already despise the new acrobat reader for including that annoying pink toolbar button to take you to its online print services. Its just a matter of days before that button starts rotating other "services" I might want.

        I don't expect it yet on the desktop itself...yet,
    • OK, obtrusive ads are one thing, but you do realize that content doesn't pay for itself, and most people aren't willing to do things for free (or pay out-of-pocket) for bandwidth. If you want things to be adless, be prepared to pay for it. I for one am not, being a student and having little money to pay for subscriptions to every damn site I visit. Plus, I really don't mind ads so long as they don't violently flash and move or obscure content. Most people are selfish, if you don't like the ads either pay
    • Ads are extreeme annoyances, furthermore the ones that are embedded. that infect the programs that you do enjoy.

      What pisses me off is if im in the car and on the radio on a Talk show, they talk about how
      their "Brand Name Car" helped them get to work and how its soo nice.
      Its one thing that they have ad's but to put them in the program pisses me off.

      What I do to combat it is this.
      I keep a tally,

      See a commercial for Arbys? don't eat there
      Hear a commecrial for jewerly? buy at a competitor when needed
      See a bill
    • In fact, I love advertisements so much, you can tattoo me and inject electrodes into my head so all I do is think about Microsoft and how badly I want the XBox 360. Yes, I would finally be able to die happy!

      Yeah, but how do you *really* feel?

      Years ago I stopped listening to commercial radio, stopped watching commercial television, and make it a point to avoid places, people and things that offer up any sort of commercially-inspired stimulus. I'd like to think myself progressive, but since T-shirts and clot
      • Be careful, you are setting yourself up for a fall. You have lowered your defences, and the next time you do accidently come across one of the new advertising techniques, you will unable to fight it off.
    • Am I the only one that wants to see popup adds on people's windshields? I mean think about the possibilities. A popup for a tire manufacturer could make it looks like it's raining and throw a bus in the road coming your way!
      • For some reason, that made me about this [slashdot.org]. Hey, if tossing false positives up on the monitor keeps the TSA screeners focused, what could possibly go wrong with tossing false images up on the windshield to keep a driver awake?

    • ...there's a guy with an annoying voice repeating everything.

      Wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube man!
      Wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube man!
      Wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube man!
      Wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube man!
    • In the future, Microsoft said, it expects to launch ads in e-mail

      When Gmail doesn't need this and still clearly make a profit and Google's revenue is still almost entirely ad-based, and MS base their revenue mostly by selling products, why do MS need to do this as soon as they enter the ad market? Is it pure greed or inefficiency in using their revenues?
    • No, even better !

      Let them put ads in their bluescreen and error message pop-ups !

      This crash was brought to you by Durex Condomn (tm). Durex Condomn (tm) keeping you away from the *other* viruses since 1929.
  • Microsoft & Yahoo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297)
    For wanting to go in together with Yahoo, this seems like the wrong start for a good relationship."

    I'm sure this is meant as a bargaining chip. "See what you have to lose if you don't go with us, Yahoo?"

  • by Bill Dimm (463823) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:37AM (#15263358) Homepage
    If I actually wanted to run an ad with this service, I would go to adcenter.msn.com [msn.com], click the "Sign up today" link and get "Microsoft adCenter does not currently support the web browser you are using. Please sign in using Internet Explorer 6+." If I then click the "More about system requirements" link nothing happens. I guess I'll just keep my money.
  • Perhaps this has something to do with Yahoo being sued over alleged pay-per-click fraud [com.com] Just throwing it out there.
  • by TheNoxx (412624) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:38AM (#15263368) Homepage Journal
    The only way Microsoft has to promote their inferior product has been FUD campaigns and tons of self-promotion through marketing. They don't want any allies that could be potential rivals, and that includes Yahoo. Unless they intend to buy Yahoo (like they did with Bungie and Rare), they probably don't want to support a partner in a field they could dominate themselves for more profits. The only "allies" I've seen them interested in have been PC makers, and those are more like forced partnerships than friendly cooperations.

    Go ahead, mod me down. You know I speak the truth.
    • you expected to be modded down for that? you must be new here.
    • For wanting to go in together with Yahoo, this seems like the wrong start for a good relationship.

      1. Offer to "partner" with successful company.
      2. Cut legs out from under "partner". Absorb all of "partner's" customers.
      3. ???
      4. Profit. Maybe - or maybe not. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that a non-Microsoft company which was once making money off of computers now isn't.

    • Microsoft is like the Karl Rove of tech...
      The only way Microsoft has to promote their inferior product has been FUD campaigns and tons of self-promotion through marketing.

      You insult the Bush administration and Microsoft in the same comment on Slashdot and you say "Go ahead, mod me down." You are definitely new here otherwise you would've known that either one of those alone would've given you an instant +5 Insightful.

      If you would've thrown in some devotional passages to Linux, you would've been in t
      • "You insult the Bush administration and Microsoft in the same comment on Slashdot and you say "Go ahead, mod me down." You are definitely new here otherwise you would've known that either one of those alone would've given you an instant +5 Insightful."

        Maybe you are new here. Didn't you know that saying "Go ahead, mod me down." always get instant +5. :)
    • What we really need around here is a [-1] "Asked for it" mod. I just want to oblige people whenever and wherever I can, you know?
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:39AM (#15263374)

    ...and it's biggest liability.

    They're so damned huge that the left hand really honestly doesn't know what the right one is doing. At least it sure seems that way, doesn't it?

  • by DaHat (247651) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:39AM (#15263376) Homepage
    While anyone with a website or blog can sign up for AdSense and add it to their page... the same cannot yet be said for adCenter as for now it is only for Microsoft (and close partner) web properties.
  • M$ says "me too" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jet_silver (27654)
    If there is ever a sign that a company is losing its relevance, it's when it stops innovating and starts copying its successful rivals. All this story says is that M$ has lots of places to put ads, and they're going to do it. What better way to please customers can you imagine?
    • I guess they started going downhill when they bought QDOS to compete against CP/M.
    • by jasonhamilton (673330) <jason@@@tyrannical...org> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:31PM (#15263865) Homepage
      Uhhhh. How about you do some research about MS' history, then get back to us on their ability to innovate.
    • If there is ever a sign that a company is losing its relevance, it's when it stops innovating and starts copying its successful rivals.

      If there is ever a sign that a company is completely idiotic, it's when it stops learning from its competitors' actions.

      All this story says is that M$ has lots of places to put ads, and they're going to do it. What better way to please customers can you imagine?

      The summary makes it quite clear that they're replacing their existing Yahoo! ads with their own system. It's hard
    • I wouldn't say they're losing their relevance, as much as their focus. Microsoft is a technology company, who is really good at marketing its own products. This just seems so far out of its core competency, it seems like an attempt to do something just because their competitor is. When a company starts doing that, they lose focus on what they're good at. **cough** Novell **cough**.

      Not to mention, there are a LOT of companies that are afraid of competition from Microsoft. Why would they want to go through Mi
  • Ads in Office? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What is this about them wanting to put ads into Office? Unless they are planning on giving out a free version that has ads, I highly doubt people are going to like that one bit. Paying $400 for a program that displays ads is BS. I don't any company or person is going to deal with that.

    Unless they are wanting to push most people to something else I don't think that will fly very well.
    • When a user tries to save a Word document, Office will notify that person in a large dialog with the text beneath the ad window: "Your document C:\My Documents\Work\Important.doc will be saved right after these short messages from our sponsors." *Crash*
    • Re:Ads in Office? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      you paid $1200 for that flatscreen that does nothing but show you ads. you pay $80 monthly for cable to get a whole bunch more targeted ads.

      Why not do it now?

    • It used to be that you pay $5 to go see a movie and only "ads" you saw were in the form of movie trailers and messages to visit the concession stand.

      These days, you pay $12 to sit through 30 minutes of real "commercials" of everything from soda to local car dealerships.

      I stopped going to movies since I couldn't stand paying money to watch ads which had nothing to do with the movie experience. I can sit at home and watch same ads on my TV for "free."

      It seems I am still the minority since people still go to

    • You pay for cable tv? You subscribe to a magazine or news paper?

      Amercians are used to it.. I doubt enough would boycott buying the ad laced prodcut to make a difference.
      • I ditched cable over a year ago and haven't missed it since. The only subscriptions I have are to things that both get me more content and remove the ads. (If paying won't remove the ads, you won't see a dime from me) A couple websites and an MMO. I don't contribute to public radio specifically because I can't dodge the pledge drives by contributing. If I could, I most certainly would. I subscribe to the iTunes video downloads of the Daily Show, and the Colbert Report precisely because all the ads are
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...For wanting to go in together with Yahoo, this seems like the wrong start for a good relationship...

    Could it be that someone wanted to manipulate the stock of either Microsoft or Yahoo. If this has been rolled out in two counries, and a 6000 customer pilot program, Somebody has to have known about it before today's news. It's completely obvious if Microsoft is going to compete directly with Yahoo's cash cow, their bread and butter, their /* new aphorism goes here */ Then the probability of Microsoft bu

  • Mixed Feelings (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MOtisBeard (693145)
    Wow, I have such incredibly mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I have loathed Microsoft and Bill Gates ever since that angry letter he wrote calling people thieves for sharing copies of his BASIC interpreter for the Altair 8800. On the other hand, the world of advertisement brokers is bursting at the seams with companies that can't even be trusted as far as you can trust Microsoft (let's face it, you can't *really* trust Microsoft, but you can trust them to be Microsoft, to be there tomorrow, and
  • In OFFICE? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BrianH (13460) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:45AM (#15263428)
    Oh, I can just imagine how well that's going to go over in our large site. How does MS expect to sell this to the corporate market? "Yes, MS Office is the most popular productivity suite in the world! And as an added bonus, we'll kill YOUR companies productivity by distracting all of your employees with tempting ads! Think about the boon to the economy! Instead of all those employees wasting time working for YOU, they can be promoting commerce and boosting the economy by spending their working hours shopping online!"

    Even making it easy to disable wouldn't assuage many CTO's, because there is still a productivity loss as the IT guys disable the ads. It may be simple for one, but when you have thousands of installations, sometimes spread out over multiple locations, it's going to cost real money to fix.

    The old adage "Cutting off your nose to spite your face" comes to mind here. They're going to anger the majority of their customers, just to make it look like they're "competing" with Google. MS really has fallen...they're transforming themselves from the largest software company in the world into freaking Doubleclick.
  • Information (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kratei (924454) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:47AM (#15263440)
    "AdCenter will give advertisers sophisticated information about consumers, including their location, age, gender and sometimes, their level of wealth. That's more than what Google and Yahoo! offer, said Joe Doran, senior director for monetization in Microsoft's MSN ad-planning group."

    I'm curious which of their many sources they plan to use to get this info. Will they just borrow as much personal data as they can from your windows box and plug it into their ad service? Will they "patch" windows the way other spyware companies do? Do they already have all this info? I suppose I simply don't the idea of another more invasive ad program out there, but then I suppose it won't effect me immediatly, since I never use IE.

    Oh, BTW, how would you like your job title to be "senior director for monetization." Is "monetization" even a word?

    • Control of Operating System + control of anti-spyware/adware software + vested interest on datamining your box to advertise to you ======> MS Spyware(tm).
    • Oh, BTW, how would you like your job title to be "senior director for monetization." Is "monetization" even a word?

      Yes, it refers to a government printing or coining money, especially as a means of paying off its debt. (For debt repayment, this is a bad and destabilizing thing, and one of the things "independent" central banks were created to avoid.)

      In the context of the Microsoft job title, it sounds like someone was looking for something that it sound like it had to do with making money by selling ads in

  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@devi n m oore.com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:52AM (#15263474) Homepage Journal
    They're doing this to drive down the stock price of Yahoo, so it will be easier to purchase. It's just another clever tactic when you want to exercise your monopoly power.
    • Wow, Cringley, here on slashdot. I had no idea you were a /. reader. Let me be the first to appologize for some of the things I've said about you in the past. I never realized you'd read them.
    • that a LOT of people are such sheep. Imagine if so many Yahoo! users DESPISED ms to the point that they ditched their Yahoo! accounts and switched to Google or another provider.

      That's EXACTLY what ***I*** will do. I never had a Hotmail account, but I probably WOULD have had I heard of them before they got bought. I'd had have dumped it, too, once ms put their hands on it.

      Do YOU know anyone who more or less feels this way?

      (And, if they ARE doing this tactic to drive down Yahoo!s pricing, then the DOJ (yeh, f
  • ... the interests of the advert part of MS and the OS part of MS will clash. Wonder which will win?
  • privacy invasive (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bert690 (540293) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:54AM (#15263497)
    Funny how they tout their privacy-invasive demographic targeting stuff as a distinguishing feature of their system compared to Google. It's one thing for MS to know a lot about you, but by affecting the display of ads based on your personal information, some of it is being leaked to advertisers each time you click. No thanks, MS.
    • Don't you know, its perfectly OK for a big company to track what you do with your computer and maintain a profile on you -as long as its for profit.

      But if the government wants to do it in the name of national security, that's just plain wrong!

      Not saying either is right, just that people seem to be much less worried about Big Company as Big Brother than they are about Big Government as Big Brother.
  • Another case of Microsoft biting it's own nose to spite it's own face?
  • Just another ad service to list in AdBlock's filters. Nothing to see here...
  • by DamienMcKenna (181101) <damien AT mc-kenna DOT com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:03PM (#15263597)
    Microsoft is a tough bedmate. They'll pay Yahoo a few million as part of the courting process, get a good look at the goods, scr3w them a few times, then cut and run. Yahoo will cry ("you said you loved me"), probably sue, and loose a vast quantity of market share in the process; meanwhile Microsoft will have spent a few million crippling yet another competitor and gain major amounts of insight and technologies. In the end MSFT's focus is turning this into a two-horse race - them and Google, Yahoo is an innocent victim on MSFT's butcher's table.

    Damien
  • Return to the 90's (Score:3, Interesting)

    by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:09PM (#15263650)
    Ads seem to work for TV but duh, weren't ads who were financiating all those .com bubbles before they bankrupted?
  • by mobby_6kl (668092) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:12PM (#15263685)
    Ok, how the fuck can an article get tagged "floppingwienervision"?
    I can't imagine more than 2-3 people out of the whole /. horde coming up with this description, and I'm sure it takes more than that to get an article tagged.
  • by HTL2001 (836298) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:14PM (#15263704)
    Well I guess they do plan ahead... seeing as how you cannot block anything from microsoft in the hosts file as its hardcoded
  • From the article:
    "AdCenter will give advertisers sophisticated information about consumers, including their location, age, gender and sometimes, their level of wealth."

    Could MS be misusing all of that registration data they have been collecting? Or have they silently added another few hundred lines to their EULA / TOS?

    Strike 3 you're outta there!
    • From the article: "AdCenter will give advertisers sophisticated information about consumers, including their location, age, gender and sometimes, their level of wealth."

      Could MS be misusing all of that registration data they have been collecting? Or have they silently added another few hundred lines to their EULA / TOS?

      Yep, especially considering that 87% of U.S. citizens can be uniquely identified by Zip+Gender+date of birth (see Sweeney, Uniqueness of Simple Demographics in the U.S. Population, 2000). T

      • And as I implied in an earlier post, if a governmental department were found to be collecting and disseminating this kind of information, we'd be having Congressional hearings tomorrow. We seem to be worried about how anti-terrorism bills cut into privacy (wether tapping phone lines or monitoring net traffick), but nobody seems to worry when big companies are doing that and more.
  • It just looks like standard MicroSoft practices here, just occurring faster than normal. It usually takes a whole month before they start screwing them over.

    I don't know why anyone would want to be "affiliated" with MicroSoft, considering their history. Their usual tactic is announce an "affiliation", get into the company, steal all the intresting IP they can, then screw the hell out of them.
  • by mollusk (195851) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:22PM (#15263788) Homepage
    For years, people have wondered where Microsoft was going. A seemingly endless supply of ill-conceived and contradictory decisions, failed business projects, and general mismanagement gave the impression that there was no clear corporate vision. With the satuaration of the OS and Office software market, no one knew where MS would turn next to sustain the drug of growth.

    No one except me, that is. Some said MS would go into being a conten provider. You fools. Porn sites are content providers, MS sells no porn. Others thought that Bill and Company were looking to get into the embedded device market. WTF were they smoking? Embedded devices have no need for brand names. Who cares what your VCR runs other than stinkfingered cheeto monkeys watching tapes of Enterprise frame by frame to see the T'Pol nipple shot?

    No, the future is clear. MS must take their marketing talent and money to a new market. One that is unaccustomed to the trench fighting of the Tech sector. A ripe plum. Yes, I am talking about the snack cake market.

    With the considerable leverage and investment capability, MS has the chance to swoop into the prepackaged pastry industry like Hitler into Poland. Sarah Lee is ripe for a takeover with the failure of their X-99 project of dehydrated cupcakes. With such a strong base, competitor after competitor could be gobbled up. In a few short years, there would be only one source for Coffee cakes, Twinkies, HoHo, DingDongs, Chocodiles, zingers, and snowballs.

    Think I'm crazy? Get off the smack. The signs are there. The Xbox is nothing more than an activity inhibitor. Less active children eat more cupcakes. The BSOD was a conditioning system. Once MS introduces the blue frosting on their signautre snack bites, the dollars will flow.

    This latest project is just a cover. The only ads running on the system in 10 years will be for BillBills and BalmerDogs. I just don't understand why people don't see it. Sheep.
  • after that coming with competing products against that company? that's not the microsoft I know... the microsoft I know would bundle the adCenter in all the versions of windows down to 3.1 and then pop ads in between any 2 key strokes from the user.
  • by szrachen (913408) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:30PM (#15263858)

    I see you're writing a suicide note, take a look at these great offers!

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  • by Sloppy (14984)
    It's about time Microsoft finally did something for all the users who keep asking for more ads.
  • Microsoft switched from using Yahoo for something to doing it themselves. How does this affect Google? Microsoft wasn't their customer before, and isn't now. The net effect appears to be 0.

    That said, Microsoft's new advertising program will certainly effect Google, but that is old news.
  • Their add service only runs if you are using Internet Exploder, er Explorer.
  • Just lost me (Score:3, Informative)

    by pen (7191) * on Thursday May 04, 2006 @02:07PM (#15264751)
    Microsoft just lost me as a customer in yet another market: Microsoft adCenter does not currently support the web browser you are using. Please sign in using Internet Explorer 6+.
  • Maybe MS is just trying to drive YHOO down to make it a cheaper buyout.
  • Microsoft today announced that it will solve the Iraq civil war crisis by sending all its Vista developers there if they don't get Vista out by December 2006.

    "Making friends and money is our motto", Ballmer said in announcing the new "employee motivation" program.

  • For wanting to go in together with Yahoo, this seems like the wrong start for a good relationship.

    One of my clients does rolling renewing contracts (3-yr or 5-yr generally) with their clients. It is relatively common when a client's renewal comes up that they go to the competitor (our industry has two big players and two to three very small players) for a minimum-length contract, usually a year. Then they come back to us when that contract is up and offer to re-sign with us - using their business as a bar

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