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Microsoft Officially Acquires Massive 32

Confirming cloudy information from a week or two back, Microsoft has officially acquired Massive, Inc. From the article: "According to the official statement, Microsoft also has begun exploring how to apply Massive technology to incorporate dynamic advertising into other online environments, such as Windows Live and MSN, and to make it available on the adCenter advertising platform. 'We are committed to building an advertiser network that serves a wide spectrum of needs,' said Kevin Johnson, co-president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. 'Our acquisition of Massive will expand opportunities for advertisers and enable connection to a broader audience of digital consumers.'"
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Microsoft Officially Acquires Massive

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  • by menace3society ( 768451 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:37AM (#15270412)
    I'm betting that MS will try to eke out extra money from Vista by making annoying ads pop up periodically, at least in the cheap versions. Then they'll market it as a feature, saying that Vista comes with as much as adware pre-installed as XP users needed six months to accumulate.

    It'll be a hit, I can see it now.
    • ...by making annoying ads pop up periodically...

      I think XP does this already. Unless I disable them with TweakUI, I keep getting pop-up ads in the form of 'speech bubbles' about how there are unused icons on my desktop or there are updates ready for my computer. I don't know what product they're trying to sell, but I'm not interested in "one or more wireless networks" being detected.
    • by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:47AM (#15270491) Journal
      Then they'll market it as a feature, saying that Vista comes with as much as adware pre-installed as XP users needed six months to accumulate.

      Some things are funny because they're true. Unfortunately, this is something that's unfunny because it's true.

      We all know that if they had a checkbox in the install program that said "Click here to have exclusive special offers delivered to your desktop!", an awful lot of people would click there...
      • As far back as the initial release of 95 it stuck a bunch of advert shortcuts on your desktop to "preferred online services"

        That said, given they're apparently not allowed to bundle it could be used to put a bunch of possible 3rd party media players into an ad and say "These are pretty good". Then they could include Media Player and get away with it.
    • I actually read something about them actually doing this as a "feature", although to some extent it is there on XP, if you open up a folder with music in it there is a button to click to "shop for music online", I read that they were planning on expanding on that "feature"

      (I use the quote marks because it is a feature only insomuch as death is a feature of the plague, it is indeed an intended facet but one which you would do almost anything to avoid)...

      if you look at themes on XP you can only get more b
    • "If you would like to use the Aero desktop interface for a mode advanced look and feel for your desktop you can do this the following ways:

      Click here to purchase the Aero upgrade from the MS website
      Click here to enable Ad Sponsored Areo for free (Ads will appear in the background as widgets)"

      They make money either way, people get an option of getting the pretty eye candy for "free" via ad sponsoring.
  • For a moment I wondered what was Microsoft's purpose in acquiring a movie special effects software [massivesoftware.com], which is not their usual business...
  • Talk about control (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EggyToast ( 858951 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:42AM (#15270452) Homepage
    So, now not only do they have the platform that most developers use for games, but they're also going to be the source for most advertising within those games. Makes you wonder if they'll be using it to pull any strings, like "hey, if you used our closed source development tools, we'll give you a discount on our ads!"
  • One thing I could put up with would be reduced priced games. Something like Too Human (with appropriate ads and appropriately textured ads at that to at least fit the gameworld) but at 50% or even 20% the price of regular 360 games. Ever online and it'll update the ads to keep with the times.
  • I believe the term you're looking for is "innovates". Microsoft Officially Innovated Massive with that $1 billion cash pile they set aside for innovation of their products.
  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:01AM (#15270597) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft also has begun exploring how to apply Massive technology...

    Have you seen the disk requirements for Vista [msversus.org]? They already know how to apply massive technology!

    (I apologize for the terrible joke... couldn't resist)
  • by ofcourseyouare ( 965770 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:06AM (#15270626)
    The key question with adding ads to software or content is this: does the user get anything extra because of the ads?

    If the user getting content for free because of an ad, then users will put up with it, as they have historically done on TV; they may skip the ads, but they don't necessarily complain about it too much because they perceive it as part of a deal.

    If the ad makes the content more real (e.g. ads on the side of football pitches) don't think many people would object.

    BUT - if the user IS paying for the content, and its price is not coming down because of the the ad, and it's not adding to the realism of the content - then you have a situation where users will start increasingly to rebel at being forced to watch ads, and cease buying products because of them.

    You might say that corporate greed will win - but this is not necessarily in the ad's favour. As I recall, someone from EA (I think in an IV in Edge magazine) recently pointed out that their revenue from ads is under 2% of their total revenue. They are not going to risk failing to sell Halo X for $XXX because they want to squeeze in a couple of ads which will generate a tiny amount of extra revenue.

    However, the ad industry desperately wants to beleive that in-game product placement has a huge future. That does not mean it's going to happen. But some ad guys have clearly caught Microsoft's ear. Time will tell if MS wins from this purchase. Personally, I doubt it.

  • When will companies realize that internet users hate ads. I don't look at ads. I dispise them. And when a site comes along that has a million ads on it, I don't go back to that site. The only site I don't mind ads on is Google because they are small and tame. They don't flash, cover up what I am reading or pop up behind my window and piss me off when I close my browser. ADS BE GONE!!!
    • TV users hate ads, too. But they still watch programs that are full of both overt ("commercials") and less overt ("product placement") advertising all the time. Similarly, internet users hate ads, but they still go to ad-supported sites, and the ads still sell products, and consequently the advertisers will keep buying ads, and the ad-deliverers will keep looking for more and more ways to deliver them.

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