Microsoft’s Massive Assault on the Web and the Living Room

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A massive offensive by Microsoft is underway. The signs are all there, maybe you just haven’t notice, but it’s more than likely that you have. Take a look at your RSS feeds over the past few days, glance at Digg‘s popular stories, browse the headline stories of Techmeme from this week – Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft, on multiple fronts too.
First of all, they’re buying yet another company to try and bolster their ad unit, AdENC. While Google purchase of DoubleClick, announced months ago, sits in the waiting bin subject to AntiTrust inquiries, Microsoft is wasting no time snapping up pieces to compete with them. In the words of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft is “hell-bent” on succeeding in ads and you better believe their willing to spend every single dollars of the billions they have stashed in their war chest to do just that.
But that was hardly the only recent headline for the boys from Redmond. Microsoft is gearing up to attack Google from just about every angle on the web. They laid out a broader web-based strategy yesterday, in addition to an upcoming Google Analytics “killer” dubbed ‘Gatineau‘, and their Adobe Flash “killer”, Silverlight, which is nearing release.
On another front, Microsoft has plans to stay ahead of Sony in the next-gen gaming console race as well. Word is that in a few weeks, the Xbox 360 will be receiving a $50 price cut to help spur sales. If that doesn’t work to counter some of the recent bad buzz the system has received due to systems experiencing the red ring of death, you can bet they’ll be willing to cut it even more. Remember, Microsoft has yet to cut the price of the 360 in the more than 18 months it’s been available, while the PS3 barely lasted 6 months before they had to start slashing prices.
If that’s not enough, Microsoft has also cut the price of their HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 down to $179. Not only did Microsoft shave $20 off the price of the drive, if you buy one, they’ll throw in 5 free HD-DVD movies, which if bought at current prices would cost you well over $100.
But there’s more, now it appears Microsoft may be planning to tie their advertising and video game departments by creating in-game ads for the Microsoft brand in EA Sports games through the video game advertising company, Massive, who just inked a deal with EA Sports. Oh yeah, and don’t forget Microsoft’s little deal the other day to be the exclusive provider of ads on Digg, a site which hasn’t exactly been conducive to the most pro-Microsoft stories in the past. At least now they’ve figured out a way to make some money off of negative coverage.
You can barely go anywhere on the web right now without coming across some sort of major Microsoft news – and that is no doubt part of the larger Microsoft plan moving forward. With Bill Gates retiring to go help people with his billions, we could be seeing the start of a much more aggressive Microsoft. After months of taking punches by the likes of Google and Sony, Microsoft is fighting back big time.
If you want to talk about advertising, be it on the web, or in the living room, Microsoft will be there.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at... Read Full Bio
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