Is Microsoft bored with making office software and operating systems? Seems that way. In May of 2007, it purchased online marketing firm aQuantive for $6 billion. Speaking at a media event in Paris yesterday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer outlined a future for the company over the next decade to realize 25 percent of their revenues from online and in-game advertising.
Microsoft, the media company? That's right. As growth slows in
Microsoft's core operating systems and desktop applications
businesses—and as the threat grows from free software and applications
offered over the Internet by the likes of Google -the software giant is scrambling for new sources of revenue and growth. Microsoft
aims to stitch together its software, ad serving, and media properties
to become a formidable online power with many of the marketing pieces
that advertisers look for as they embark on Internet ad campaigns. "All
marketing will be digital sometime in the next 10 years," predicts
No offense, but that last sentence sounds like an old man talking about the wonders of "The Google." I wonder if Ballmer has any idea how bad his further comments about the wonders of digital advertising sound to most people:
"Our digital devices are with us 16 to 17 hours per day, and they are
also a place for targeted messages and appropriate and relevant
advertising," Ballmer says. Soon, he promises, Microsoft "will know
about you, we will know where you are, and we will know what you are
doing, and we will service you appropriately."
Microsoft, your 17 hour-a-day stalker.