Re: Microsoft Cuts Display Ad Business, Sells Bing Maps To Uber
Like tzubair said, selling your ad business to AOL might seem a quite strange - but let's remember Verizon's acquisition of AOL earlier this year. In that deal, AOL's large market for video content delivery was cited as a major cornerstone (the numbers were pretty impressive but I, too, had no idea AOL had such a big video audience). One would think the deal with Microsoft has something to do with that, considering the Reuters article specifies the deal includes video ads. It looks to be a pretty broad deal, including Skype and Xbox, two major brands for Microsoft, but we still don't know all the details - how does this line up with Microsoft's mobile strategy? Mobile video was cited as a big goal for Verizon/AOL. Presumably they'll have control of ads on Skype's mobile app, etc, but I notice no mention of how this will impact Windows 10 Mobile directly.
As for cutting your losses, I'd consider Bing Maps to Uber to be a good sell. It doesn't line up with Microsoft's enterprise productivity strategy, but it probably has enough users to make it worth maintaining. Though people like to make fun of Bing, 20% is really not bad when you consider how much of a juggernaut Google is. Compare to Windows phone's struggles in the mobile space (where Microsoft has around 2-3%, depending where you get your numbers, and Google has about 65% with Android), and one could actually see where Bing still fits into Microsoft's strategy for promoting growth in their mobile market. Expanding it through partnerships (the same way they're extending Office to other platforms) seems like a better recipe for success than brute forcing it.