Feeds

Microsoft sells out of MSN Australia

Local television station acquires long-running JV

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft has sold its share of Mi9, the Australian incarnation of the Microsoft Network.

Mi9 was once known as “Ninemsn”. The “nine” in both names references the Nine Entertainment Company, owner of one of Australia's three free-to-air commercial television networks.

Ninemsn was created by James Packer, son and heir to Kerry Packer, a fierce media entrepreneur famous in the UK for turning cricket on his head and revered in Las Vegas as one the of highest of rollers and biggest of tippers.

Back in 1997, James convinced the famously feisty Kerry to have a go at something online because he felt, as did many youth of the day, that this internet thing could be quite important for the future of media. Former Microsoft Managing Director Daniel Petre was, by that time, on the board of the Packers' company PBL Media and is thought to have greased the wheels at the very highest level of Microsoft.

Ninemsn was the result and quickly became dominant by blending content from Nine's television properties and magazines owned PBL Media. Nielsen Online's most recent report on Australian online activity (available here as a PDF) says Mi9 remains Australia's third-most-trafficked web property, behind Google and Facebook.

Microsoft and Nine are both insisting the transaction means little beyond the balance sheet and share registry, as a new “long term strategic partnership agreement” agreement has been signed that will see Mi9 “represent Microsoft’s suite of advertising products, while leveraging their world leading technology, data, insights and innovation.”

Mi9 was not a model Microsoft used extensively around the world, so divesting its stake in the company is not an indication of a retreat from online ventures. Microsoft has cut back on newsroom staff in other parts of the world, as it turns its attention to the likes of Azure, Office 365 and SkyDrive as part of its “devices and services” strategy. Considered in the context of that strategy, selling off half of Mi9 looks consistent rather than an ignominious exit. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.