Microsoft Promises Billion-Dollar Fight With AOL - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Microsoft Promises Billion-Dollar Fight With AOL

Having previously crowned America Online its No. 1 competitor, Microsoft will spend $1 billion to grab some market share from its rival. As part of the battle, Microsoft has unveiled an updated MSN, its consumer portal, and a massive marketing campaign to promote MSN.

Most of the $1 billion will go into retail promotions that Microsoft declined to detail. It did say it would earmark $150 million of its MSN marketing budget for TV ads. The MSN update is important for Microsoft, as the company--and its rivals--posit a future in which online computing and desktop apps interact more seamlessly.

For example, Microsoft says it's working on software that will eventually let MSN and others automatically program local applications. An E-mail and calendar package could pass data about earmarked dates to online shopping sites, which would in turn flag users about specials on those days.

AOL would just as soon be the one building and distributing those apps--not Microsoft. The Internet service provider, which is in the process of acquiring Time Warner Inc., claims 25 million subscribers, compared with 3.5 million MSN users. In an unrelated move, AOL Wednesday released version 6 of its software, which includes Web-to-phone features that let subscribers listen stock quotes, weather forecasts, sports scores, and the like by calling a toll-free number. They would go online to select the information they could dial up.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is showcasing a new Web browser that lets users access online services such as bill payment, E-mail, and instant messaging, with a single mouse click. Microsoft's consumer-software and device businesses are its fastest-growing revenue source: sales of PC games, WebTV, MSN Internet access, and handheld computers were up 31% during the first quarter, ended Sept. 30, to $479 million.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
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.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll