Keep an eye on: Advertising

October 3, 2007

Microsoft CEO Steve BallmerMicrosoft is big on ads. That’s right, desktop software-developing, XBox-creating, computer keyboard-making Microsoft is talking multi-billion-dollar media heavyweight big. How big? CEO Steve Ballmer says ads could be 25 percent of the $51 billion company’s business in a few years as all media and marketing go digital.

Of course, that makes sense since Microsoft recently spent $6 billion for online advertising outfit aQuantive. Another Microsoft executive forecast the online ads market to be growing between 15 and 20 percent a year worldwide, dwarfing global ads market growth.

BusinessWeek says customers who heard Ballmer’s presentation in Paris said they are “interested in the new advertising avenues presented by Microsoft but still undecided about how much they are willing to spend on new media such as mobile advertising.”

Speaking of new advertising frontiers, Ballmer called chatter about Microsoft investing in Facebook “idle speculation.


Keep an eye on:

  • A number of physical therapists around the country are actually allowing patients to relearn balance and movement skills by playing the Nintendo Wii, which is also a hit with rehabilitating injured soldiers. (WCCO via Engadget)
  • Verizon Wireless unveiled three new cell phones for the holiday season, including a high-end handset named Voyager made by LG Electronics that boasts faster wireless Web access than the Apple iPhone. (Reuters)
  • Yahoo Inc is mulling its options for Kelkoo, its online shopping comparison site. (Reuters) (FT)
  • Microsoft introduced three new models of its Zune digital media player, the second generation of its answer to Apple’s iPod. The new Zunes can wirelessly and automatically update music, photos and videos when placed near a user’s computer. (Reuters)
  • ABC finished the first week of the new broadcast season as the No. 1 U.S. network in prime time, buoyed by such hits as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Dancing with the Stars.” (Reuters)
  • BusinessWeek is sticking to business with its design and editorial changes that appear Oct. 12, including dropping its lifestyle column, Executive Life. (Mediaweek)
  • Google is moving to attract big business users to its Google Apps service just a year after entering the software market, and is offering stepped up e-mail management services at no additional cost to paying users. (Reuters)

Photo: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (Reuters file)

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