Friday, September 29, 2006

Microsoft to Launch Digital Advertising Solutions

At Advertising Week 2006, Microsoft Corp. will announce the worldwide launch of Microsoft® Digital Advertising Solutions in a move that combines the company’s broad set of global advertising products and services into a unified offering for advertisers. Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions is designed to connect advertisers with their target audiences across such devices as PCs, Xbox® video game systems, Web-enabled mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president of global sales and marketing and chief media revenue officer at Microsoft, said Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions is a response to one of advertisers’ key challenges. “As today’s consumers spend more and more time online across various digital devices like mobile phones and video games, advertisers are finding they can no longer reach their entire target audience by advertising on a single medium,” she said.

“Microsoft is uniquely positioned because of our extensive global audience, high level of consumer engagement, and engaging ad opportunities across Microsoft’s platform to connect advertisers with a million different audiences of one. We’re addressing the reality of media fragmentation and enabling advertisers to get back to what they do best: creating engaging and creative ads.”

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

US Internet ad revenue up 37% in first half of 2006

U.S. Internet advertising revenue rose 37 percent in the first six months of the year, hitting a record of nearly $8 billion, according to a study released on Monday.

The study, released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, comes just days after a revenue warning by Yahoo Inc. raised concerns that ad spending in new media could be slowing.

In warning about its revenue, Yahoo pointed to weakness in advertising from automobile and financial firms, two key sectors in marketing. Since the disclosure, analysts have been divided over whether the issue is solely Yahoo's or signals a wider slowdown in online ad spending.

Source: Reuters

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Microsoft to put Works Suite online

In the clearest sign yet that the big guns are preparing to step up the battle for Web Office, Microsoft has said it is considering releasing a version of Microsoft Works (the poor cousin of Microsoft Office) as a web suite. The desktop version of Works retails for $50 and includes a calendar, word processor, spreadsheets, Web Browser and e-mail. While its currently positioned as a home productivity toolset (to do your accounts, write letters, etc), it could pretty easily be re-positioned as a (small) business web office suite.

In any case - because Works includes basic word processing and spreadsheet software, to web-enable that and bundle it as a suite would be a step above what both Microsoft and Google currently offer. Right now Microsoft has Office Live (web hosting, email, project collaboration) and Google offers Apps For Your Domain (email, IM, calendar and website creator).

Source: ZDnet

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Microsoft to launch YouTube "rival"

Soapbox starts testing on Tuesday and will launch within six months as part of current service, MSN Video.

"It's really early days in online video; this is still act one," said MSN's Rob Bennett.
"We're definitely not blind to the fact that YouTube has a big lead right now," said Mr Bennett, general manager of MSN's entertainment and video services.

"Microsoft is jumping on this bandwagon with some uncertainty with where it's going, but the company believes it needs to be on board," Joe Wilcox, an analyst at Jupiter Research, told Reuters news agency."


Monday, September 18, 2006, a for-profit charity

Google has set up a subsidiary,, a for-profit philanthropy with initial capital of a billion dollars. Not being organized on a tax-free basis carries both advantages and drawbacks.

From the article: "Unlike most charities, this one will be for-profit, allowing it to fund start-up companies, form partnerships with venture capitalists and even lobby Congress.

It will also pay taxes." One of's first projects is the development of a plug-in hybrid vehicle that achieves a mileage rating equivalent to 100 MPG.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

New Internet Explorer vulnerability posted on web

Computer code that could be used to hijack Windows PCs via a yet-to-be-patched Internet Explorer flaw has been posted on the Net, experts have warned.

The code was published on public Web sites, where it is accessible to miscreants who might use it to craft attacks on vulnerable Windows computers. Microsoft is investigating the issue, the company representative said in a statement Thursday.

Microsoft says that Windows users should disable ActiveX and active scripting controls.

Source: Cnet

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Zune Is Official

Microsoft's official announcement of its much-hyped Zune music player came today, just 48 hours after Apple released its updated arsenal of iPods, a new version of iTunes, and a movie download service. So what's new and what does it all mean?

First off, the details of the Zune are basically as expected—30GB hard drive, video playback, wireless sharing, and a 3-inch screen. But Microsoft filled in a blank (or at least part of it) as regards the rest of the platform; namely, the Zune Marketplace and the Zune management software.

Read More

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

MySpace and YouTube to go head to head

News Corp. chief operating officer Peter Chernin told investors at an industry conference Tuesday that the media giant was considering creating a video component to its MySpace social-networking Web site that could rival the wildly popular YouTube.

“If you look at virtually any Web 2.0 application, whether its YouTube, whether it’s Flicker, whether it’s Photobucket or any of the next-generation Web applications, almost all of them are really driven off the back of MySpace,” Chernin said at the conference. “There’s no reason why we can’t build a parallel business.”

Source: MultiChannel is now live

Microsoft's New Internet Search Software Is Officially Launched

Microsoft officially started its new Internet search engine crafted to compete with offerings from rival online powerhouses Google and Yahoo.

Microsoft announced that its "Live Search" online portal was opened in 47 markets worldwide to complement MSN and Windows Live Internet-scouring services that attract an estimated 465 million visitors monthly....

Source: Microsoft

Monday, September 11, 2006

Windows Media Player 11 beta 2 released

What's new in this beta release compared to the first beta release of Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP?

The following list highlights some of the major changes since the first beta release of Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP.

Fixing issues. Fixes have been made for issues that occurred in the first beta release of Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP.

Additional online stores are now available. More online stores are available in this beta release of Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP. For a listing of online stores that are now available, see
Availability of online stores.

Changes to sharing digital media content. The functionality of Windows Media Connect is now integrated into Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 for Windows XP as the new Media Sharing feature, which lets you enjoy the contents of your Windows Media Player library from anywhere in your home.

If you have a home network (wired or wireless), you can use Windows Media Player 11 to stream the contents of your library to networked devices such as Xbox 360 or other digital media receivers. For more information, go to
Digital Media at Home.

Note that digital media sharing is targeted for home users; therefore, computers that are joined to a domain might experience issues when trying to share digital media.

Try it out on

Friday, September 08, 2006

Internet Advertising up 18.9 Percent

Ad Spending By Media
...Internet display advertising, riding five consecutive quarters of double-digit growth, rose 18.9 percent to $4.69 billion for the half-year....

Local Newspapers, confronted with over $600 million in reduced automotive spending year-to-date, saw total expenditures erode by 3.9 percent to $11.65 billion. Radio media also lagged, down a combined 1.4 percent to an aggregate of $5.26 billion.

Source: Businesswire

Monday, September 04, 2006

Help Google

In a drive to improve the relevance of image search results Google just launched "Image Labeler" which allows users to help tag images.

"You'll be randomly paired with a partner who's online and using the feature. Over a 90-second period, you and your partner will be shown the same set of images and asked to provide as many labels as possible to describe each image you see.

When your label matches your partner's label, you'll earn some points and move on to the next image until time runs out. After time expires, you can explore the images you've seen and the websites where those images were found. And we'll show you the points you've earned throughout the session."

Try it out

Saturday, September 02, 2006

It's Official: Windows Vista RC1 Is Complete

"To the TechBeta community:
It’s official — Windows Vista RC1 is done!

We could not have achieved this milestone without your support. The quantity and quality of feedback and data we received from you has been essential to helping us progress. Thus we wanted you to be the first customers outside of Microsoft to get access to the bits. Next week, a broader set of technical customers will get them via MSDN and TechNet. But you’re the first! We wanted to get it into your hands asap so you can start giving us feedback right away.

You’ll notice a lot of improvements since Beta 2. We’ve made some UI adjustments, added more device drivers, and enhanced performance. We’re not done yet, however — quality will continue to improve. We’ll keep plugging away on application compatibility, as well as fit and finish, until RTM. If you are an ISV, RC1 is the build you should use for certifying your application.

The operating system is in great shape with RC1, but there’s still a lot of testing to do. You’ve come through for us so far, and I’m asking you to once again put the pedal to the metal and send us feedback. Windows Vista is going to touch hundreds of millions of lives all around the world. Thanks for everything you’re doing to help us give them the best experience possible."

Source: Windows Vista Team Blog