Feeds

Developers become advertisers with Microsoft

Following the money

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google has given Microsoft something to think about with a seemingly successful advertising-based business model, but Microsoft can "out Google" Google with developers.

That's the enthusiastic view of Microsoft's recently appointed chief technology officer (CTO) Ray Ozzie, who believes Redmond can utilize MSN to beat Google and become the industry's largest beneficiary of online advertising-based services.

Ozzie was speaking ahead of Tuesday's rather disappointing "live software" announcement in San Francisco where Microsoft unveiled the advertising - and subscription - based Windows Live and Office Live.

Microsoft hopes to convert millions of Windows developers using software development tools like Visual Studio into content providers, building adverts and services into Windows Live, Office Live and Windows applications.

Microsoft is not just trying to follow Google, it's also chasing eBay and Amazon.com. These online empires have been releasing their APIs to developers for several years now, with developers building business offerings that integrate back into the main eBay and Amazon platform for exposure and sales.

While Microsoft may have been happy to let eBay and Amazon slide, Google caught Microsoft's attention with its advertising revenue and superior search.

"Google has done an amazing job at proving out the ad-supported model," Ozzie told last week's Vortex05 conference of chief information officers (CIOs), in San Francisco. "We [Microsoft] have to think how we'd monetize that under a different model."

The secret to monetization is - apparently - to translate the concept of the vast data center that Google has built using an infrastructure of commodity PCs (running Google's own Linux) that drives Google search, into the pseudo data center that is the MSN server and client architecture running Windows.

And, the fact MSN is just one of a handful of internet operators who has that size of infrastructure on tap, and because Microsoft "will" beat Google, Ozzie seems to believe it's a foregone conclusion that Microsoft will therefore beat all others to take the lion's share of the market for advertising-based services.

"There will be very few companies who have that scale to build that infrastructure," Ozzie said.

Ozzie joined Microsoft this year in a hire that was vital to the company's efforts to crack the nut of services and peer-to-peer, software-based, networking. Microsoft claims to offer "services" already, through such over-hyped activities as its Dr Watson to report errors in Windows and Xbox live.

Ozzie, creator of IBM's Lotus Notes groupware software, though, was going far further by developing software at his start-up Groove Networks that let individuals work together by securely slipping through firewalls to speed-up the collaborative process. That's got interesting crossover appeal for Microsoft's Office desktop productivity suite.

Microsoft's white-haired new boy says the company will leverage its relationships with enterprises and small businesses, and its footprint among seven million Windows developers to kick-start the ads revenue wheel. "An amazing number of developers use the [Microsoft] tools. I am very, very passionate about how services can be brought to bear to help those people make money," Ozzie said.

As ever, though, Microsoft's problems are scale and applicability of its service. Microsoft is renowned for building personal software that's great for individual or relatively small groups of users, but that struggles at the enterprise level.

Ozzie, for example, foresees problems developing different types of access controls in services that are simultaneously availably in public and private domains. Also, how do you provide search capable of spanning desktops, intranets and the internet - that's something even IBM has been at pains to differentiate between. Relevancy on the internet may be links or track backs while number of emails is a better indication of relevance on an enterprise network.

That's where Microsoft will need to draw on developers to enrich Microsoft's underlying platform or service. "We haven't yet cracked how to integrate what's on the desktop with what's in the various content management systems," Ozzie said.®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Google opens Inbox – email for people too stupid to use email
Print this article out and give it to someone techy if you get stuck
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.