Ozzie: Microsoft needs Yahoo for Web, advertising plan

Microsoft's Ray Ozzie lays a case for why buying Yahoo is integral to Microsoft's Web-based advertising and services strategy.

Microsoft chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, on Wednesday attempted to clarify Microsoft's Web-based advertising and services strategy and lay a case for why buying Yahoo is integral to that plan.

In his keynote at the MIX 08 conference in Las Vegas, Ozzie said Microsoft realises that having a vibrant and relevant portfolio of Web-based services and content, as well as innovative options for commerce and building communications, is essential to develop a "highly engaged, well-targetable audience" for advertising. When it comes to the Web, advertising is the primary way Microsoft will monetize its investments there, he said.

Microsoft is doing all it can "to use the resources we have to ensure there is a vibrant advertising ecosystem," Ozzie said. "If you wonder why we're so interested in Yahoo and its creative people and properties, I hope this makes it a little bit clearer."

Microsoft has been steadily building a wider portfolio of services and content over the past few years to drive its advertising strategy to compete with Google, meeting with little success.

In an attempt to give the strategy a major shot in the arm, Microsoft last month offered to purchase Yahoo, the struggling number-two player in online advertising, for $US44.6 billion. Yahoo's board rejected the bid, but Microsoft seems determined to buy the company, even if it has to be a hostile takeover. Still, even if the deal happens, it's unclear whether it will do much to help either company compete with Google.

Ozzie acknowledged that Microsoft has been working on its Web-based advertising plan for several years, both through acquisitions of companies such as aQuantive and its investment in Live services, but that 2008 will be the year the strategy "finally comes to light."

Ozzie, who seemed more self-assured about his increasingly visible role as Microsoft's technology visionary during his keynote on Wednesday, also revealed the most detail to date about how the Web is transforming all of Microsoft's products. The company in the past few weeks has made a series of announcements that expands its software-plus-services strategy to make more of its traditionally packaged software available as services for both consumers and business customers.

Earlier this week, the company expanded its hosted offerings for businesses by allowing them to use its email software Exchange Server as a hosted service, as well as Office SharePoint Server 2007, a content management and collaboration tool, and Office Live Meeting, for audio and video conferencing over the Web.

Microsoft will continue this year to reveal more facets of its strategy to "drive the reconceptualisation of our software to embrace this world of services," Ozzie said. Microsoft sees the Web as a hub that must be a "mesh" connecting all of its products, and is approaching this with four goals in mind: to use the Web throughout its products to connect devices, entertainment, business and development.

"All of our software will be significantly refactored to reach a level of symmetry" between software used on premise, software as a service and services in the cloud, Ozzie said.

For example, on the business side, Microsoft plans to use a new service called Office Live Workspace to be the "central hub of our productivity strategy" for individuals, he said. Office Live Workspace lets users access and share Office documents online. On the business side, Microsoft's Office SharePoint Server will fit the same role, Ozzie added.

Microsoft also will give developers more ability to develop services in the cloud. During his keynote, Ozzie unveiled a beta of SQL Server Data Services, a set of database services that "bring[s] the benefits of SQL Server for developers into the cloud," he said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?