I admit it: I am surprised.
When word began to leak today that Microsoft allegedly had beat Google in a race to invest in Facebook and strike an ad partnership with the social network, my first thought was that Google somehow would still manage to triumph. After all, it has happened before. Microsoft made a bid for DoubleClick and ended out losing to Google. I was thinking there was a high likelihood it could happen again.
But Microsoft "won" the right to invest $240 million in Facebook and to become the exclusive advertising provider for Facebook in the U.S. and abroad.
Former Microsoft employee Robert Scoble says he hears Microsoft's Facebook win is attributable the new guy on Microsoft's ad team: Brian McAndrews, the former CEO of aQuantive, who is now the Senior VP in charge of Advertiser and Publisher Solutions. If Scoble is right, I wonder what other miracles McAndrews might be able to conjure, going forward.
(The fact that an outsider like McAndrews was able to break Google's stranglehold on online-advertising-related partnerships and deals also says a lot about the need for Microsoft to bring in outsiders to help the company break into new markets.)
So, what's your take on this Microsoft ad win?
Microsoft and Facebook are saying there are more (products? deals?) involving the two that will be announced in the future. We know that Microsoft is working on Facebook tools and -- I'd expect -- a variety of Facebook applications beyond what the company already has delivered. But what else might the pair have up their sleeves?
Any other takes on the October 24 Microsoft-Facebook deal?