Marketing Land's Guide to all things Microsoft

Most recent news stories about Microsoft on Marketing Land:

Google Tells Users It Scans Their Email As Microsoft Puts “Scroogled” To Bed

gmail inbox tabs Google updated its terms of service (TOS) yesterday to make more explicit the fact that it scans Gmail for the purpose of matching email content with ads. The relevant part of the updated TOS reads: Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored. Google has been sued for the practice as an alleged violation of the Federal Wiretap Act. The case survived Google' [...]


Microsoft Releases Advertising SDKs And Tools For Windows App Monetization

windows-phone-featured Though Cortana is has generated the biggest headlines from Microsoft's annual Build Conference, the company dangled a few new carrots to entice app developers to focus on creating apps for Windows. Microsoft released new software development kits (SDKs) designed to help developers earn more money from their Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone apps through advertising as well as new tools to monitor revenue performance and promote their own apps. The new ad SDK for Windows 8.1 allows for ads to be served from third-party mobile rich media ad servers and connects to the Microsoft Ad Exchange. T [...]


Like Siri, Cortana Can Crack Jokes, If You Ask The Right Questions

jokes and music People quickly discovered when Siri came out that asking her questions like "What's the best computer" or saying "I love you" resulted in humorous answers. Microsoft's new digital assistant Cortana has some wit about her, too -- and there's a serious reason for that. Microsoft's Mike Calcagno, who oversees the Bing search platform that underpins how Cortana answers questions, told me in an interview yesterday that he's noted how people asking seemingly useless questions to Siri actually generates a real value "I discounted those types of interactions at the beginning," he said. But afte [...]


The Email That Microsoft’s Cortana Assistant Won’t & Can’t Read: Yahoo Mail

cortana big Microsoft's new cool Cortana personal assistant uses information from within your email to make recommendations and provide predictive suggestions. That is, unless you use Yahoo Mail. As it turns out, Microsoft is forbidden from  "reasoning" on Yahoo Mail for contractual reasons. I'm still gathering more of the details, but Microsoft representatives told me that the prohibition is tied some Microsoft-Yahoo contract that's old, that predates Windows Phone, but which is still in force. Part of how Cortana operates is by reading through email on a Windows Phone device, then extracting info [...]


Microsoft Unveils Cortana Assistant At Build Conference

Microsoft Build Conference Microsoft's annual Build Conference kicked off in San Francisco today with perhaps the biggest news for marketers being the unveiling of its "Cortana" virtual assistant, a challenger to Apple's Siri and Google Now. In particular, Cortana -- like Siri -- may route searchers to particular apps or search services.  For local search, Yelp now seems especially prominent. However, also see our  separate story on Search Engine Land that dives deeper into Cortana:  Part Siri, Part Google Now Microsoft Announces “Cortana” Virtual Assistant [...]


Advertisers Keep Spending More On Paid Search In Q1, CTRs Jump 23 Percent YoY

Paid Search Spend Trends Q1 2014 IgnitionOne Paid search in the U.S. saw another quarter of positive growth in Q1, rising 8 percent year-over-year according to IgnitionOne's latest quarterly report, which looks at paid search performance of campaigns across its management platform that's used by major brands and agencies. Paid search clicks rose a modest 5 percent and click-through-rates (CTR) were up 23 percent. Impressions fell again -- dropping 15 percent year-over- year. The drop in impressions, according to the report, is due to the increase in mobile searches where there is less ad real estate per query. However, these mobile se [...]


UK Watchdog Clears Microsoft’s Scroogled-Style Radio Ad Against False Advertising Claims

msft-outlook-privacy The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has cleared a radio ad attacking Google's privacy practices against complaints that it amounted to false advertising. In the decision announced yesterday, the ASA rejected two complaints about an ad promoting Microsoft's Outlook email that said it -- unlike Google's Gmail service -- doesn't scan the contents of emails to sell ads. The radio ad begins with a voice speaking in Pig-latin, followed by a narrator who says "Pig Latin may be hard to understand, but you probably need it if you use Gmail, because Gmail scans every word of your e-mail [...]


Traditional PCs Shrink To 10 Percent Of Device Market In 2015

Multiscreen Millward Brown IT consulting firm Gartner projected today that overall device shipments (not sales) would increase this year by nearly 7 percent vs. 2013. Sale of traditional PCs still represent a drag on the industry, although tablet substitution for PCs is supposed to slow. Recognizing the importance of addressing all platforms now Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced today (as expected) that Microsoft Office would be available for the iPad as a set of native apps: We’re bringing Office, the gold standard in getting things done, to the iPad. A billion people rely on Office every day, and we’ve wor [...]


How Microsoft Scroogled Itself As The Defender Of Email Privacy Over Google

scroogled-store-mug-featured For just over a year, Microsoft has been attacking Google over email privacy. Consumers are getting "Scroogled" by a Google that doesn't respect privacy, it has said. Microsoft can now retire that Scroogled campaign. After violating the privacy of a third-party's email account, Microsoft's not in a position to be taking the high-road, any longer. The Privacy Invasion This week, a case against a former Microsoft employee made the news. The employee is accused of passing trade secrets -- software code and other information about Windows -- to an unidentified blogger. Some argue he (we do know [...]


How Users Of Various OSes Differ In Their Online Behavior Over Time

social-media-clock-featured For marketers, timing is often as important as creative, the most obvious example being campaigns tied to particular holidays. These days, with complex analyses now possible for activities like email marketing, online promotions and blog posts, industry practitioners are actively pursuing the "best" timing for their latest initiatives. In this piece, we drill down into the nuances of this issue by examining the differences in hourly usage behavior between users of different operating systems and device types. These insights should hold particular value for those marketing to one or more def [...]


Apple, Samsung Gain, Windows Phone Plateaus In US — comScore

smartphones-featured This morning comScore released its latest US smartphone report. These monthly missives have become largely static documents with little change among the various players. Indeed, the OEM and OS share charts are basically consistent the past several months. Apple gained a point and Android lost a half a percentage point. Microsoft seems to have hit a share plateau in the US, while BlackBerry continues its slow, painful decline into the abyss. On the OEM side Samsung and LG gained slightly (as did Apple) while Motorola (soon part of Lenovo) and HTC continued their respective slides. Whi [...]


As “Cortana” Approaches, Remembering Microsoft’s Other Digital Assistant: Ms. Dewey

msdewey & cortana Microsoft is apparently readying its own digital assistant called "Cortana," to take on Apple's Siri and Google Now. Hopefully, Cortana will see more love than Microsoft's other assistant that you have probably long forgotten about. Ms. Dewey. Ms. Dewey? She was an experimental interface launched in October 2006 for Microsoft's search engine Live Search (now called Bing). Actually, she was more an underground marketing campaign. She gained buzz because she was an assistant with attitude, if she had issues with what you searched for. Howard Stern? As this Marketplace report from the ti [...]


Microsoft Board Chair: Company Culture Must Change

Microsoft Surface 2 Tech journalism tends to focus on "who's winning," who's buying whom and new company products. Rarely is there much discussion of organizational culture. But that's often the hidden "X variable" behind success or failure. In a candid statement to Fortune, Microsoft Board Chairman John Thompson likened Microsoft to IBM 25 years ago and acknowledged that the company culture must change now that the "Windows monopoly has run out": I think one of the things IBM learned was when their monopoly ran out and they had to compete with a bunch of smaller, more agile companies, they needed to have a [...]


Can Nokia X Android Devices Sell More Windows Phones?

Nokia X The irony of Nokia introducing low-end Android smartphones upon being absorbed into Microsoft is obvious. Had the company put out Android devices earlier, it might not have sold to Redmond. By the same token, now that Nokia has introduced Android phones, how enthusiastically will Microsoft embrace and promote them? Earlier today, the company announced a new line of Android-based handsets at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. The Nokia X series may or may not technically be "forked" but they don't look like traditional Android phones. They've got a Windows Phone-like tiles [...]


Microsoft Assistant “Cortana” Coming Soon To Phones, PC, Xbox

Image credit: Microsoft For months the tech press has been writing about the imminent arrival of Microsoft's answer to Siri: Cortana. The virtual assistant is modeled on a character in Microsoft's "Halo" game. Microsoft has not acknowledged Cortana or said anything public about Cortana. Right now Cortana is a codename and it remains to be seen what the digital assistant is ultimately called. Reportedly "she" will soon be introduced with the 8.1 update of the Windows Phone software. Unlike Siri Cortana will operate across devices and screens, including on the PC and Xbox. According to sources who spoke to The [...]


Microsoft Scores Upfront Video Advertising Deal With Starcom MediaVest

microsoft icon 2012 Microsoft has inked a video advertising agreement with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) that gives the agency and its clients access to premium video inventory across Microsoft’s portfolio of digital advertising assets which includes Xbox, Skype, Ads in Apps on Windows 8, MSN and the Microsoft Video Ad Network. “Through our suite of devices and services, we can deliver a true cross-screen, premium video advertising experience at-scale that will unlock new opportunities to truly enhance brand connections with consumers,” said Stephen Kim, vice president for Global Agencies for Microsoft A [...]


As Microsoft Figures Out Next Mobile Move, Apple & Android Grab 94 Percent Of Smartphone Market

smartphone-shutterstock According to hardware tracking firm IDC, "Android and iOS accounted for 95.7 percent of all smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013, and for 93.8 percent of all smartphone shipments for the year." Yet Windows Phone wasn't entirely shut out. On a percentage basis, Windows Phones grew more than other platforms. But in real handset terms, Windows Phone is still very much a bit player, except in a few markets where its share has approached or reached 10 percent. Source: IDC As new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella takes the helm in Redmond, he must contemplate how to accelerate [...]


It’s Official: Satya Nadella Is The New Microsoft CEO

Nadella Microsoft CEO Microsoft's website has confirmed what everyone came to expect over the past week or so: Satya Nadella is the new CEO. On the Microsoft site it says: As Satya Nadella becomes the third CEO of Microsoft, he brings a relentless drive for innovation and a spirit of collaboration to his new role. He joined Microsoft 22 years ago because he saw how clearly Microsoft empowers people to do magical things and ultimately make the world a better place. Many companies, he says, “aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources and perseverance. Microsoft [...]


Surprise, Bud Light Is Not The Top Super Bowl Advertiser On Google And Bing

goal posts flickr wisecontrarian Despite appearances, Bud Light is not the number one advertiser on Super Bowl related queries on either Google or Bing. According to new data from search monitoring service BrandVerity, Bud Light, which is advertising all four of its Game Day ads, has been beat out by different advertisers on each of the search engines. The competition is heating up as well, many more advertisers are turning to PPC in these final days to promote their Super Bowl ads than were earlier in the week. To see who's joined the ranks and which advertisers currently claim the top spots in PPC, check out Who’ [...]


Low Hanging Fruit: These Super Bowl Advertisers Are Getting Found For “Super Bowl Ads”

google-bing-football As Super Bowl advertisers rev up the heat on their promotional campaigns ahead of the big game, a handful are turning to paid search on both Google and the Yahoo Bing Network. Thousands of consumers are searching for "super bowl ads" according to Google. The advertisers showing up and paid search show they wisely have a plan in place to compete for this traffic. And, many of the Super Bowl advertisers running paid search ads are using creative tactics to extend the digital impact of their Super Bowl expenditures. For the rundown of 5 trends we're seeing in the paid search ads for Super Bowl [...]


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