Mobile // Mobile Applications
News
5/6/2008
11:45 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft: 'We've Moved On' From Yahoo

"Yahoo would have been an accelerator, but we've moved on and now we're focused on how fast we can grow organically," Windows Live general manager Brian Hall said.

Days after Microsoft withdrew its $40 billion-plus bid for Yahoo, one of its top online services executives stood before financial analysts at the Merrill Lynch Technology Conference to again assert that the Yahoo ship has sailed, and that Microsoft would be pushing forward alone.

"Yahoo would have been an accelerator, but we've moved on and now we're focused on how fast we can grow organically," Brian Hall, Microsoft's Windows Live general manager, said at the conference. "They would have brought significant assets, but we've moved on. You're going to notice a trend there."

Hall said he had several goals for Microsoft's online business, including creating a killer application for Windows through Windows Live, using contextual information from Hotmail and other Microsoft Web applications as a way to drive display advertising across Microsoft's sites and third-party Web sites, pushing into contextual search that takes place outside the usual search engine home page and growing Microsoft's online partner base.

Hall said that Microsoft already had achieved a strong position on the Web, with 448 million active visitors logging into Microsoft's online services last month, and Microsoft's sites accounting for 11% of the total amount of time spent on the Web worldwide.

Still, Yahoo would have brought additional scale to compete with Google, which accounts for a much larger chunk of the online search and search advertising market. Microsoft's share has remained steady, even dipping slightly, in that market over the last few years. Asked about how Microsoft could overcome the loss of Yahoo's scale, Hall referred back to the improvements Microsoft's making and has made to its online services.

"We're bearing down in the last little while," he said. For example, he added, Microsoft has quadrupled the size of its search index in the last year, completed the aQuantive acquisition to give it a strong position in the growing display advertising market, begun pulling Windows Live into a cohesive suite of applications, and kept Live Messenger growing.

Microsoft will soon begin combining elements of its MSN Web portal and Windows Live by adding things like an e-mail notifier and presence indicator as well as other social networking features into MSN, according to Hall. A test of that integration in the United Kingdom drove higher user engagements and more site visits.

So far, Microsoft has had limited success with social networking, but Hall hopes the company can turn that around by turning social networking more into a feature than only a destination, as it largely is today with sites like Facebook and MySpace.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
The weekly wrap-up of the top stories from InformationWeek.com this week.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.