Now that the "Microsoft Service Credits for Web Search" cat is out of the bag, Microsoft officials are sharing more details about the program, designed to convince enterprise customers to use Microsoft's Live Search technology.
All About Microsoft
Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley's blog covers the products, people and strategies that make Microsoft tick.
Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has thrown down the gauntlet and called Google's headcount growth plans "insane." Hmm. Let's look at a few interesting facts for comparison.
The "Microsoft Service Credits for Web Search" program provides kickbacks to businesses who agree to use Microsoft's Live Search services. The more users a company agrees to "influence," the bigger the payout from Microsoft. But the Web Search credit program isn't without precedent at Microsoft.
Microsoft acquired in May 2006 Massive Inc., one of the leaders in in-game advertising market. Katherine Hays, a senior director with Microsoft's platform and services division -- and the co-founder of Massive -- offered Wall Street analysts and other interested parties an update on what Microsoft has been up to in this space, via a Web-conference meeting on March 15.
Could SharePoint Server become the new center of Microsoft's universe (at least among business users)? SharePoint as an operating system in and of itself? These ideas aren't as crazy as they might sound.
Microsoft is now planning to release its Dynamics Live in phases during the third and fourth quarters of 2007, rather than all at once in the third quarter of this year, company officials said on March 14.
Given the year-and-a-half-old missive from Microsoft Chief Software architect Ray Ozzie that all Microsoft software should include services add-ons, it's not surprising that Microsoft is looking to integrate its Dynamics CRM Live service with its on-premise Dynamics ERP software. What is surprising is how rapidly that is likely to happen.
Is it time for a Microsoft-wide purge of the "Live" brand? If you look at the myriad, incongruous ways that Microsoft is using "Live" across its various product divisions, you might say yes.
While almost every Microsoft division is seeking ways to pick up the pace and turn out new product releases more rapidly, the Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) unit is preparing to do the opposite by slowing the rate at which it's rolling out new ERP releases.
Here's the official internal memo from Kevin Johnson, Microsoft's president of platforms and services, regarding last week's resignation of Chris Payne, the Windows Live search chief. Microsoft is still a couple of weeks away from announcing its new team who will take on Microsoft's less-than-successful search business.