Microsoft gets into new world of advertising

Well, it's official. Microsoft is now in the new world of contextual advertising. It's just like the old world of advertising (Microsoft sells billions of dollars of advertising every year, even before today) but it's more efficient.

But, I don't need to hype this new world up. You all know what I'm talking about. Just look at how Google is getting its money. Or read Memeorandum today.

So, why does Microsoft care so much about the world that Google is the leader in? Well, cause the advertising industry is a lot bigger than the software industry. Translation: the MBA's here see a lot more growth potential in advertising-backed software than they do in software that you go to Fry's and buy.

Not that the model of "buy your software here" is dead. Xbox is proving that. I've already spent hundreds of dollars on games, both on Xbox Live arcade and in stores like BestBuy and Fry's.

But, they look at Google, which has operating margins of 34% (with quarterly revenue growth of 79%), and Yahoo, which has operating margins of 18.79% (which has quarterly revenue growth of 33.5%), and they get excited.

Great, so we're in the game now.

Now what? Well, I look at it like we're in the record business and we need to find great bands to build audiences. Then the advertising folks will be able to put ads on those things and we'll all be happy.

So, do we build a great business by copying the "bands" from other companies? (I'll be honest, that's what we've pretty much done so far). To me that just sounds so boring and uninteresting. Imagine you work a music company and your boss tells you to "copy the Beatles."

Yeah, that'll really work.

The next three years will define Microsoft as a company. It'll be interesting to see how our innovation engine roars to life. We've been making some great acquisitions and hiring some great people. And I hear a major engine tuneup is underway thanks to other things that I can't talk about yet.

The trick is, can we find a new way to compete. One that doesn't rely on the old tricks that teams fell back on in the past? Luckily this time around there's piles of money to be had for all three companies — if we create value and find new audiences.

Just because there was Michael Jackson, or Elvis, or the Beatles, doesn't mean that the Black Eyed Peas couldn't come along and make a sizeable business.

Metaphor switch time. :-)

It's real easy in the technology world to follow the path someone else broke through the ice. But that's lazy.

Microsoft needs a few icebreaking ships to forge a new path.

I see a few being built. But we need more.

Comments

  1. One of the key things to consider is outside of the US market, AdCenter should also focus really fast on launching their services into international markets. The official announcement is going to generate attention to online advertising from people that did not know about it because it’s Microsoft and if they want to try, they will only find Google and Yahoo’s offer.

    AdCenter’s official entry into the advertising business is a good sign but there is a lot to do to get web entrepreneurs to choose AdCenter’s contextual ads instead of AdSense, there’s plenty of room for innovation but agility is key nowadays.

  2. One of the key things to consider is outside of the US market, AdCenter should also focus really fast on launching their services into international markets. The official announcement is going to generate attention to online advertising from people that did not know about it because it’s Microsoft and if they want to try, they will only find Google and Yahoo’s offer.

    AdCenter’s official entry into the advertising business is a good sign but there is a lot to do to get web entrepreneurs to choose AdCenter’s contextual ads instead of AdSense, there’s plenty of room for innovation but agility is key nowadays.

  3. I tried signing up. Got this error message -

    “Microsoft adCenter does not currently support the web browser you are using. Please sign in using Internet Explorer 6+. More about system requirements”

    That’s not encouraging me to switch from
    Google Adwords to adCenter.
    Hmm, is it worth using that “other” browser?
    Will I really get a different profile of viewers?

  4. I tried signing up. Got this error message -

    “Microsoft adCenter does not currently support the web browser you are using. Please sign in using Internet Explorer 6+. More about system requirements”

    That’s not encouraging me to switch from
    Google Adwords to adCenter.
    Hmm, is it worth using that “other” browser?
    Will I really get a different profile of viewers?

  5. I don’t think I want ads in my software. can you imagine opening a Word document with a Viagra advertisement appearing before it opens. Like an interstitial? How about in a PowerPoint presentation, ads in between the slides, no wait that would make them less boring, think of the possiblities!

  6. I don’t think I want ads in my software. can you imagine opening a Word document with a Viagra advertisement appearing before it opens. Like an interstitial? How about in a PowerPoint presentation, ads in between the slides, no wait that would make them less boring, think of the possiblities!

  7. Carolus: No one wants that kind of advertising, contextual advertising tries to give you relevant advertising to what you are doing/reading; the ad-supported model is targeted to people that do not think the software they are using should cost, so the ads pay for the service provided.

  8. Carolus: No one wants that kind of advertising, contextual advertising tries to give you relevant advertising to what you are doing/reading; the ad-supported model is targeted to people that do not think the software they are using should cost, so the ads pay for the service provided.

  9. Robert,

    I have written up a long response and posted it to my blog.

    My response is based on the thinking that is going into my book, on looking at Economics as a Network, on looking at the ecosystems around (and within) enterprises.

    I look forward to talking with you at MeshForum this Sunday (and to interviewing you and Shel). Your readers are welcome to join us in San Francisco!

    Shannon

  10. Robert,

    I have written up a long response and posted it to my blog.

    My response is based on the thinking that is going into my book, on looking at Economics as a Network, on looking at the ecosystems around (and within) enterprises.

    I look forward to talking with you at MeshForum this Sunday (and to interviewing you and Shel). Your readers are welcome to join us in San Francisco!

    Shannon

  11. Again, your Beatles analogy doesn’t work! Because many people copied The Beatles, with HUGE success.

  12. Again, your Beatles analogy doesn’t work! Because many people copied The Beatles, with HUGE success.

  13. Dmad: really? Name one band that copied the Beattles that was a huge success. I can’t name one.

    Yes, they INFLUENCED a lot of music, but that’s far different from a word-for-word copy band that ends up playing in high school auditoriums.

    Now, if you think that playing in high school auditoriums, or doing weddings and events like that is a “huge” success, then go for it. That’s not the kind of success I want to be a part of, though.

  14. Dmad: really? Name one band that copied the Beattles that was a huge success. I can’t name one.

    Yes, they INFLUENCED a lot of music, but that’s far different from a word-for-word copy band that ends up playing in high school auditoriums.

    Now, if you think that playing in high school auditoriums, or doing weddings and events like that is a “huge” success, then go for it. That’s not the kind of success I want to be a part of, though.

  15. No one wants advertising.

    With all that cash Microsoft has, the right way to compete with google would be to make a search engine that doesn’t have any ads. That would actually be innovative.

    How to make money off it? Indirectly: make sure it works only with IE on Windows.

    Evil – because Microsoft really has no business in search anyway, they’re only in it to kill of google – but evil for a greater good. I might actually have to say something nice about Microsoft if it did an advertising-free search.

  16. No one wants advertising.

    With all that cash Microsoft has, the right way to compete with google would be to make a search engine that doesn’t have any ads. That would actually be innovative.

    How to make money off it? Indirectly: make sure it works only with IE on Windows.

    Evil – because Microsoft really has no business in search anyway, they’re only in it to kill of google – but evil for a greater good. I might actually have to say something nice about Microsoft if it did an advertising-free search.

  17. I think I saw a screenshot somewhere of Windows Live Mail Desktop whew..that was long …. which had advertising banners ?
    I can dig up the links if someone asks for it. I think it was on the live blog that Scoble linked to, today.

  18. I think I saw a screenshot somewhere of Windows Live Mail Desktop whew..that was long …. which had advertising banners ?
    I can dig up the links if someone asks for it. I think it was on the live blog that Scoble linked to, today.

  19. I am a Microsoftie, biased towards Microsoft, but I must admit, Microsoft is copying from other brands, in many cases improving the existing brands but still copying nonetheless.

    Then again if the original brand was good enough MS wouldn’t be able to improve and win new clients would they? So in the end I guess it comes down to a better situation for the client, not necessarily for the inventor of the original brand :(

  20. I am a Microsoftie, biased towards Microsoft, but I must admit, Microsoft is copying from other brands, in many cases improving the existing brands but still copying nonetheless.

    Then again if the original brand was good enough MS wouldn’t be able to improve and win new clients would they? So in the end I guess it comes down to a better situation for the client, not necessarily for the inventor of the original brand :(

  21. [...] Microsoft switches on adCenter, its rival to Google (London Times) – A key point in Microsoft’s “evolution from a software company into the world’s largest, most attractive provider of online media”. Jason Dowdell identifies some issues with it. MS’s Robert Scoble blogs about it, and the rationale behind MS’s interest in this space (advertising is a much bigger market than software, and online ad. is growing much faster and is more profitable). [...]

  22. Then again if the original brand was good enough MS wouldn’t be able to improve and win new clients would they?

    That’s where the reliance on bundling comes into play. By using an existing monopoly (ie Windows) as a distribution platform, Microsoft succeeds in injuring young companies and it doesn’t need to make things better, just “good enough” or at best “the same”.

    From a money standpoint, Microsoft can fund a non-profitable me-too item using Windows’ margins, while the competitor must fold as marketshare, price-power and earnings erode. In the end, Microsoft stands alone in a market and innovation grinds to a standstill.

    Maybe you can excuse that because you get a paycheck, but Microsoft is the death of the American dream for the rest of us.

  23. Then again if the original brand was good enough MS wouldn’t be able to improve and win new clients would they?

    That’s where the reliance on bundling comes into play. By using an existing monopoly (ie Windows) as a distribution platform, Microsoft succeeds in injuring young companies and it doesn’t need to make things better, just “good enough” or at best “the same”.

    From a money standpoint, Microsoft can fund a non-profitable me-too item using Windows’ margins, while the competitor must fold as marketshare, price-power and earnings erode. In the end, Microsoft stands alone in a market and innovation grinds to a standstill.

    Maybe you can excuse that because you get a paycheck, but Microsoft is the death of the American dream for the rest of us.

  24. [...] Dmad: really? Name one band that copied the Beattles that was a huge success. [...]
    how about Joe Cocker (e.g. “With a little help from my friends”, “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”)?
    Beatles are a bad example because the list of very popular cover versions goes on forever (please note that I listed examples of artists that copied the Beatles back in the 60s and so directly competed with the genuine article).

  25. [...] Dmad: really? Name one band that copied the Beattles that was a huge success. [...]
    how about Joe Cocker (e.g. “With a little help from my friends”, “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”)?
    Beatles are a bad example because the list of very popular cover versions goes on forever (please note that I listed examples of artists that copied the Beatles back in the 60s and so directly competed with the genuine article).

  26. Is adCenter only for advertisers? What about publishers? Wasn’t MS supposed to launch a rival to AdWords AND AdSense?
    Is there a link I can follow for that?

  27. Is adCenter only for advertisers? What about publishers? Wasn’t MS supposed to launch a rival to AdWords AND AdSense?
    Is there a link I can follow for that?

  28. Another trainwreck in the making, only in extreme slow motion. They can’t do content, they can’t do media, actually outside of OS and Office they haven’t done anything (profitable). And they can’t deliver, neither software nor hardware. (Stores here still don’t have 360s, yes still).

    This proposal is half-baked Google envy, and the contextual advertising model is fraught with serious economic challenges and many ups and downs. None of which Microsoft has any real experience or competence in.

    1. Microsoft Marketing has never been ‘cool’, they have been safe-zone static rich-info heavy. Boring and informational overload are good models for some markets, but advertising is not one of them. Why should we trust Microsoft here? Zero track record. Add in an internal inability to practice what they are now preaching.

    2. They are getting into advertising not as a shrink-wrap replacement, rather as their inability to move to the Subscriptional Software model. But well, that model requires deliverables and a decent program, not the double to triple pay Software Assurance model.

    3. Hosted free Office with Advertising would be more the framework. But no, all we get is the half-baked and hard-to-define Windows Live. Reminds me of when they slapped .NET on everything in sight.

    that I can’t talk about yet.

    Always with that eh? The greatest thing ever, until it hits and then half vaporware. Reminds me of your PDC 2003 era lingoisms. As they say in Missouri, show me.

  29. Another trainwreck in the making, only in extreme slow motion. They can’t do content, they can’t do media, actually outside of OS and Office they haven’t done anything (profitable). And they can’t deliver, neither software nor hardware. (Stores here still don’t have 360s, yes still).

    This proposal is half-baked Google envy, and the contextual advertising model is fraught with serious economic challenges and many ups and downs. None of which Microsoft has any real experience or competence in.

    1. Microsoft Marketing has never been ‘cool’, they have been safe-zone static rich-info heavy. Boring and informational overload are good models for some markets, but advertising is not one of them. Why should we trust Microsoft here? Zero track record. Add in an internal inability to practice what they are now preaching.

    2. They are getting into advertising not as a shrink-wrap replacement, rather as their inability to move to the Subscriptional Software model. But well, that model requires deliverables and a decent program, not the double to triple pay Software Assurance model.

    3. Hosted free Office with Advertising would be more the framework. But no, all we get is the half-baked and hard-to-define Windows Live. Reminds me of when they slapped .NET on everything in sight.

    that I can’t talk about yet.

    Always with that eh? The greatest thing ever, until it hits and then half vaporware. Reminds me of your PDC 2003 era lingoisms. As they say in Missouri, show me.

  30. The problem with the model is that Microsoft assumes that the future of advertising is advertising. But it’s not: the slow painful death of TV Advertising is just the start of the decline of one way brand dialog. Banners on sites, no matter how relevant, are still old advertising.

  31. The problem with the model is that Microsoft assumes that the future of advertising is advertising. But it’s not: the slow painful death of TV Advertising is just the start of the decline of one way brand dialog. Banners on sites, no matter how relevant, are still old advertising.

  32. Microsoft Launches Contextual Advertising Network

    MSN will host contextual advertising with their search engine results – much like Google does with its Adsense network.

  33. Thanks for your excellent insight.

    When Eric Schmidt refers to Google’s main role, he always uses the word “innovation”. To him, innovation is the key product his company sells.

    My interpretation of what your wrote is it sounds like Microsoft is planning on “catching up” with Google. Google seems to be planning on being in completely new, as of yet unnamed markets in the coming years. It almost seems as if they’re not concerned with their current business model

    Operationally, I doubt Google is on par with Microsoft, but they seem to be ahead on vision. Do you think this a type of corporate arrogance or is their market share in search so unassailable that focusing on new products makes sense for them?

  34. Thanks for your excellent insight.

    When Eric Schmidt refers to Google’s main role, he always uses the word “innovation”. To him, innovation is the key product his company sells.

    My interpretation of what your wrote is it sounds like Microsoft is planning on “catching up” with Google. Google seems to be planning on being in completely new, as of yet unnamed markets in the coming years. It almost seems as if they’re not concerned with their current business model

    Operationally, I doubt Google is on par with Microsoft, but they seem to be ahead on vision. Do you think this a type of corporate arrogance or is their market share in search so unassailable that focusing on new products makes sense for them?

  35. I find it funny how people think other bands copied the Beatles. They don’t understand the Beatle’s music and what they did with music. They broke the rules. Instead of standard timing and measures, they when to odd timing or odd number of measures. When the culture started to shift, they were out in front leading it, instead of copying. They pushed technology, instead of just using it. Of course, I wonder how one would do some of their tricks today. You just can’t physically spin a CD backwards to find out what the joke in Revolution No. 9 (Beatle’s White Album). Sure you can hear that the music is backwards, but you would need to take it into an audio editing software and reverse it and they play it at the correct speed. Ah, the days of turntables.

  36. I find it funny how people think other bands copied the Beatles. They don’t understand the Beatle’s music and what they did with music. They broke the rules. Instead of standard timing and measures, they when to odd timing or odd number of measures. When the culture started to shift, they were out in front leading it, instead of copying. They pushed technology, instead of just using it. Of course, I wonder how one would do some of their tricks today. You just can’t physically spin a CD backwards to find out what the joke in Revolution No. 9 (Beatle’s White Album). Sure you can hear that the music is backwards, but you would need to take it into an audio editing software and reverse it and they play it at the correct speed. Ah, the days of turntables.

  37. > The next three years will define Microsoft as a company.

    When wasn’t that true for Microsoft? For any large company other than Coca-Cola?

  38. > The next three years will define Microsoft as a company.

    When wasn’t that true for Microsoft? For any large company other than Coca-Cola?

  39. Luckily this time around there’s piles of money to be had for all three companies — if we create value and find new audiences.

    An important empirical regularity is that advertising spending as a share of GDP has been about 2% since at least 1925. Another interersting fact is that industry analysts have been in denial about the lack of growth in the share of advertising for about a half-century.

    Perhaps Google has changed advertising more than growth of television did. Rather than assuming so, I would like to see some data and analysis indicating that new forms of advertising can be a major, economy-wide engine of growth.

  40. Luckily this time around there’s piles of money to be had for all three companies — if we create value and find new audiences.

    An important empirical regularity is that advertising spending as a share of GDP has been about 2% since at least 1925. Another interersting fact is that industry analysts have been in denial about the lack of growth in the share of advertising for about a half-century.

    Perhaps Google has changed advertising more than growth of television did. Rather than assuming so, I would like to see some data and analysis indicating that new forms of advertising can be a major, economy-wide engine of growth.

  41. “Name one band that copied the Beattles that was a huge success. I can’t name one.”

    Beatlemania? :-)

    More directly – Tears for Fears “Sowing the Seeds of Love” is a pretty direct “borrowing” of a Beatles kind of sound.

  42. “Name one band that copied the Beattles that was a huge success. I can’t name one.”

    Beatlemania? :-)

    More directly – Tears for Fears “Sowing the Seeds of Love” is a pretty direct “borrowing” of a Beatles kind of sound.

  43. @10. Surely by copying you didn’t mean copy “word for word”. Is it your contention that you were concerned that MS would rip off Google? Opening them up to lawsuits and patent infringements? Surely when you said copy you meant mimic.

    I mean, I dunno, “The Monkees” were pretty much a rip off of The Beatles, and they made out pretty well. I’m sure Davy Jones would not disagree.

    Let’s see, Elton John remade Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds, which went to #1 on Billboard

    We also have:

    “Fool on the Hill” – Sergio Mendes
    “You Won’t See Me” – Anne Murray (1974)
    “Got To Get You Into My Life” – Earth Wind Fire
    “We Can Work It Out” – Stevie Wonder

    “Here comes the Sun” Richie Havens
    “Come Together” Aerosmith

    Shall I go on? All of these songs were major Billboard hits.

    And if you know anything about The Beatles you well know their initial success was based on covers. “Twist and Shout”, for example. Their early albums have many covers. And by their own admisstion some of their original songs were copies of others. “Come Together” was an admitted copy of a Chuck Berry song.

    And if Harrison were still alive I’m sure he’d be happy to tell you about his plagarism suit surrounding “My Sweet Lord”

    And being that “Yesterday” is the most covered song in history, well… I rest my case.

    So, please, drop the Beatles/music industry analogy. It’s doesn’t work.

  44. @10. Surely by copying you didn’t mean copy “word for word”. Is it your contention that you were concerned that MS would rip off Google? Opening them up to lawsuits and patent infringements? Surely when you said copy you meant mimic.

    I mean, I dunno, “The Monkees” were pretty much a rip off of The Beatles, and they made out pretty well. I’m sure Davy Jones would not disagree.

    Let’s see, Elton John remade Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds, which went to #1 on Billboard

    We also have:

    “Fool on the Hill” – Sergio Mendes
    “You Won’t See Me” – Anne Murray (1974)
    “Got To Get You Into My Life” – Earth Wind Fire
    “We Can Work It Out” – Stevie Wonder

    “Here comes the Sun” Richie Havens
    “Come Together” Aerosmith

    Shall I go on? All of these songs were major Billboard hits.

    And if you know anything about The Beatles you well know their initial success was based on covers. “Twist and Shout”, for example. Their early albums have many covers. And by their own admisstion some of their original songs were copies of others. “Come Together” was an admitted copy of a Chuck Berry song.

    And if Harrison were still alive I’m sure he’d be happy to tell you about his plagarism suit surrounding “My Sweet Lord”

    And being that “Yesterday” is the most covered song in history, well… I rest my case.

    So, please, drop the Beatles/music industry analogy. It’s doesn’t work.

  45. And finally, the tribute band “Rain” plays venues all over the world at $%55.00 a pop. (not high school auditoriums”), and often sells out.

  46. And finally, the tribute band “Rain” plays venues all over the world at $%55.00 a pop. (not high school auditoriums”), and often sells out.

  47. I’m interested in knowing what

    “And I hear a major engine tuneup is underway thanks to other things that I can’t talk about yet.”

    means Robert. Engine, as in, the company’s engine? or the MSN search engine?

    Jim

  48. I’m interested in knowing what

    “And I hear a major engine tuneup is underway thanks to other things that I can’t talk about yet.”

    means Robert. Engine, as in, the company’s engine? or the MSN search engine?

    Jim

  49. “It’ll be interesting to see how our innovation engine roars to life”
    LOL, 30 years now you’ve been trying to start the innovation engine and it’s still stuck in neutral, I won’t hold my breath.

  50. “It’ll be interesting to see how our innovation engine roars to life”
    LOL, 30 years now you’ve been trying to start the innovation engine and it’s still stuck in neutral, I won’t hold my breath.

  51. “And I hear a major engine tuneup is underway thanks to other things that I can’t talk about yet.”

    Isn’t a tuneup something that normally happens quickly, takes a modest amount of capital and results in an engine that runs much more efficiently? Please tell me that’s what you mean Robert. ‘Cause I’m hearing rumors of across-the-board salary increases which, beyond being fatally stupid from a timing point of view given the latest stock meltdown, would seem to suggest an engine that’s running less efficiently, costing more and providing less value. In my world, when we get those, we just junk ‘em. :-)

  52. “And I hear a major engine tuneup is underway thanks to other things that I can’t talk about yet.”

    Isn’t a tuneup something that normally happens quickly, takes a modest amount of capital and results in an engine that runs much more efficiently? Please tell me that’s what you mean Robert. ‘Cause I’m hearing rumors of across-the-board salary increases which, beyond being fatally stupid from a timing point of view given the latest stock meltdown, would seem to suggest an engine that’s running less efficiently, costing more and providing less value. In my world, when we get those, we just junk ‘em. :-)

  53. Now that I think of it – a better analogy would be
    Google = Coca Cola (The real thing).
    MS = Royal Crown Cola. Its not even Pepsi.

  54. Now that I think of it – a better analogy would be
    Google = Coca Cola (The real thing).
    MS = Royal Crown Cola. Its not even Pepsi.

  55. Will Microsoft Show Big Companies the Way to the New Web?

    The blogosphere coverage today of Microsoft’s self-reported change in focus from a software company to a media company, the moving of adCenter from MSN to Microsoft, and other related events have been absolutely fascinating. It’s just another e

  56. One thing that I have to say about this -

    Most of the web developers out there utterly hate Microsoft. How do you guys expect to get everyone to switch to using your little AdCenter thing when (I’m guessing) over 90% of web developers use Google or Yahoo as their primary search engines. I know tons of web developers, and not a single one uses MSN or Live.com. Sure, you guys may have a new business model on how to do online advertising, but Microsoft has so many haters in the web developer world. You guys have been cocky, and it’s coming back in your face now; Google is making you guys start to rethink how on top of your game you guys are.

    I understand that you have the resources to do as much research or whatever you want for developing this new product. However, you guys need to win back the developers if you want this to succeed. Out of all my developer acquaintances and friends, 95% of us are going to pick a Google product over a Microsoft product every time. Not because Google’s products are necessarily better (though they usually are), but because of the image that we hold of Microsoft.

    I wish you the best of luck with your new services.

    Sam

  57. One thing that I have to say about this -

    Most of the web developers out there utterly hate Microsoft. How do you guys expect to get everyone to switch to using your little AdCenter thing when (I’m guessing) over 90% of web developers use Google or Yahoo as their primary search engines. I know tons of web developers, and not a single one uses MSN or Live.com. Sure, you guys may have a new business model on how to do online advertising, but Microsoft has so many haters in the web developer world. You guys have been cocky, and it’s coming back in your face now; Google is making you guys start to rethink how on top of your game you guys are.

    I understand that you have the resources to do as much research or whatever you want for developing this new product. However, you guys need to win back the developers if you want this to succeed. Out of all my developer acquaintances and friends, 95% of us are going to pick a Google product over a Microsoft product every time. Not because Google’s products are necessarily better (though they usually are), but because of the image that we hold of Microsoft.

    I wish you the best of luck with your new services.

    Sam

  58. “copy the Beatles.”

    Actually yeah, that will work (and has time and time again). Even a basic rundown of charted music history will show tons of Beatleish copycats and cover remakes that made it, bigtime, yes, bigtime. Siouxsie and the Banshees remake of ‘Dear Prudence’, but for one example.

  59. “copy the Beatles.”

    Actually yeah, that will work (and has time and time again). Even a basic rundown of charted music history will show tons of Beatleish copycats and cover remakes that made it, bigtime, yes, bigtime. Siouxsie and the Banshees remake of ‘Dear Prudence’, but for one example.

  60. After reading the comment by Sam, I was reminded when I went to Microsoft for some product testing. This was for Microsoft Search. They asked me how I found items in MSDN, or Microsoft. I showed them. I used the MSDN Search, this by the way was my usual pattern, then switched to Google. Google returned more relevant results, and I could click the URL and get directly to the content I needed in 2 clicks. If Microsoft can’t even search it’s own content as well as Google…

    I have been a Web-Developer for years, since 1995 anyway, I don’t loathe MS products, I am open to trying them. What I find is that in the search arena, MS doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head. I have been trying to use Windows Live, the search is pretty good, however the page takes too long to load.

    As far as the other products that MS makes, take Mappoint for instance, great product, poor delivery. Here was my situation: I was developing a shipping calculator for our Freight Business. It involved complicated calculations based on mileage, tolls, etc. I used .Net to create it and tied the mapping to Mappoint webservices (worked great!). I contacted the Mappoint sales department and they were selling the service in hit blocks of millions of hits. (I was only going to get 1000′s of hits a month not millions). They would only sell me $13K of usage at a time, I asked if anyone resold in smaller blocks, the rep never even called me back. This was 2 years ago, I think somethings may have changed. I ended up with a developer type account that was FREE for one year. Nice, but I didn’t want free, I wanted to pay for a smaller block of hits.

    Finally, I just reinstalled DreamweaverMX (2002), I have been using VS2005 for 6 months. I still find myself designing in Dreamweaver and copying the HTML to Visual Studio. Microsoft your Visual Design Environment Sucks. The programming tools, work well, the Design Tools for Visual Appearance, well they just suck.

    So while Microsoft may be persuing Advertising, they are losing focus of their core. I believe the same true for Google, they too are losing focus on their core. You both have great products, and I would say, stick to what you know.

  61. After reading the comment by Sam, I was reminded when I went to Microsoft for some product testing. This was for Microsoft Search. They asked me how I found items in MSDN, or Microsoft. I showed them. I used the MSDN Search, this by the way was my usual pattern, then switched to Google. Google returned more relevant results, and I could click the URL and get directly to the content I needed in 2 clicks. If Microsoft can’t even search it’s own content as well as Google…

    I have been a Web-Developer for years, since 1995 anyway, I don’t loathe MS products, I am open to trying them. What I find is that in the search arena, MS doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head. I have been trying to use Windows Live, the search is pretty good, however the page takes too long to load.

    As far as the other products that MS makes, take Mappoint for instance, great product, poor delivery. Here was my situation: I was developing a shipping calculator for our Freight Business. It involved complicated calculations based on mileage, tolls, etc. I used .Net to create it and tied the mapping to Mappoint webservices (worked great!). I contacted the Mappoint sales department and they were selling the service in hit blocks of millions of hits. (I was only going to get 1000′s of hits a month not millions). They would only sell me $13K of usage at a time, I asked if anyone resold in smaller blocks, the rep never even called me back. This was 2 years ago, I think somethings may have changed. I ended up with a developer type account that was FREE for one year. Nice, but I didn’t want free, I wanted to pay for a smaller block of hits.

    Finally, I just reinstalled DreamweaverMX (2002), I have been using VS2005 for 6 months. I still find myself designing in Dreamweaver and copying the HTML to Visual Studio. Microsoft your Visual Design Environment Sucks. The programming tools, work well, the Design Tools for Visual Appearance, well they just suck.

    So while Microsoft may be persuing Advertising, they are losing focus of their core. I believe the same true for Google, they too are losing focus on their core. You both have great products, and I would say, stick to what you know.

  62. I’d love to know where you get your stats about 90% of Web developers hating Microsoft… And I mean stats as in “statistics”, not a poll of people you know and hang out with. I use Google too, but that doesn’t mean I hate MS (not that I necessarily love them either, it’s more like a noncommittal relationship between a couple of people who enjoy some of the same movies and not much more)

  63. I’d love to know where you get your stats about 90% of Web developers hating Microsoft… And I mean stats as in “statistics”, not a poll of people you know and hang out with. I use Google too, but that doesn’t mean I hate MS (not that I necessarily love them either, it’s more like a noncommittal relationship between a couple of people who enjoy some of the same movies and not much more)

  64. Jeremy,

    90% was just a number that I came up with by counting in my head the developers I knew vs. the developers I knew that like Microsoft. All the ones that like Microsoft are the ones that make horrible websites… These are just the ones I know though

    Sam

  65. Jeremy,

    90% was just a number that I came up with by counting in my head the developers I knew vs. the developers I knew that like Microsoft. All the ones that like Microsoft are the ones that make horrible websites… These are just the ones I know though

    Sam

  66. Overall, most developers like Microsoft. This developer loves Visual Studio 2005. DreamWeaver comparatively, is a toy — for drag-n-drop coders. Every experienced web designer I know codes their HTML by hand. We have DW installed but only use for quick mockups and for training students.

    Microsoft also has the most extensive highest quality developer support in the world. http://www.asp.net, MSDN, etc. There are more examples, tutorials, starter kits and peer support than you can shake a stick at. .NET developers truly love the framework.

  67. Overall, most developers like Microsoft. This developer loves Visual Studio 2005. DreamWeaver comparatively, is a toy — for drag-n-drop coders. Every experienced web designer I know codes their HTML by hand. We have DW installed but only use for quick mockups and for training students.

    Microsoft also has the most extensive highest quality developer support in the world. http://www.asp.net, MSDN, etc. There are more examples, tutorials, starter kits and peer support than you can shake a stick at. .NET developers truly love the framework.

  68. I used to be in the MS camp – .NET developer, thought Macs were for hippies.

    Then I tried one. And like Sam said, most web devs I know prefer to use Macs and not MS products unless they work in internal corporate IT.

    In my case, I don’t feel any hate but rather a complete lack of faith and trust in MS web dev products. I suffered through Web Classes, Visual InterDev and all the horrors those entailed.

    Now, with my shiny new Mac, TextMate and Ruby on Rails I feel like a giant weight is off my shoulders – I can dream and create with ease, beauty and fun.

    Maybe I AM a hippie.

  69. I used to be in the MS camp – .NET developer, thought Macs were for hippies.

    Then I tried one. And like Sam said, most web devs I know prefer to use Macs and not MS products unless they work in internal corporate IT.

    In my case, I don’t feel any hate but rather a complete lack of faith and trust in MS web dev products. I suffered through Web Classes, Visual InterDev and all the horrors those entailed.

    Now, with my shiny new Mac, TextMate and Ruby on Rails I feel like a giant weight is off my shoulders – I can dream and create with ease, beauty and fun.

    Maybe I AM a hippie.

  70. Ads in software? Is this a new concept? Of course I jest. I recall a day when I would search for online services that were ad free. I would look for freeware that was ad free. Of course I have given up.

    Now I search for products and services where the advertising doesn’t drown out the service. As a WLMail user I am horrified by the size of the adbar on the right side of the screen. It steals valuable space from the reading pane.

    The bottom line here is, ad driven revenue in software is here to stay. Get used to it. It ain’t going away. Let’s just hope Microsoft can manage to place advertising in such a way that it doesn’t drive users away.

    Oh, and hasn’t Microsoft already defined itself? What’s with this “The next three years will define Microsoft as a company. It’ll be interesting to see how our innovation engine roars to life.” nonsense? Hasn’t innovation been the defining factor for Microsoft for the past 2 decades?

  71. Ads in software? Is this a new concept? Of course I jest. I recall a day when I would search for online services that were ad free. I would look for freeware that was ad free. Of course I have given up.

    Now I search for products and services where the advertising doesn’t drown out the service. As a WLMail user I am horrified by the size of the adbar on the right side of the screen. It steals valuable space from the reading pane.

    The bottom line here is, ad driven revenue in software is here to stay. Get used to it. It ain’t going away. Let’s just hope Microsoft can manage to place advertising in such a way that it doesn’t drive users away.

    Oh, and hasn’t Microsoft already defined itself? What’s with this “The next three years will define Microsoft as a company. It’ll be interesting to see how our innovation engine roars to life.” nonsense? Hasn’t innovation been the defining factor for Microsoft for the past 2 decades?

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