Are you surprised? Microsoft beats Google with Facebook deal

Are you surprised? Microsoft beats Google with Facebook deal

Summary: 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. Were you caught off-guard by this one?

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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.

Are you surprised? Microsoft beats Google with Facebook dealFormer 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?

[Poll=15]

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?

Topics: Microsoft, Banking, Google, Social Enterprise

About

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).

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20 comments
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  • The World According to Ballmer: Facebook risks being a 'fad'

    [url=http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article2573297.ece]FYI[/url]
    D T Schmitz
  • This is more of a defensive move by MS. They know they can not buy Facebook

    but they are hoping with this that they can keep Google from buying Facebook.

    The problem is that it would be a complete culture clash if they were to try to buy Facebook, and it would be another long embarrassing story as they tried to switch Facebook from Linux to Windows. They probably gave Facebook a huge cash infusion, probably a very over valued cash infusion, so as to keep Facebook flush with cash and independent and out of the reach of Google.

    Probably the best strategy given the circumstances.
    DonnieBoy
  • RE: Are you surprised? Microsoft beats Google with Facebook deal

    Facebook was already showing signs of wanting to be the next evil empire. Now they can learn from the masters.
    fricker
    • Evil Empire

      Is it true that M$ has already chosen a new name for them: Darth Vidiots?
      DigitalFrog
      • A three year old start up by a Harvard Man does look evil

        In the scheme of things, I very much doubt that Google really was interested in Facebook. This is because Google is a product of Stanford University as is HP, SUN, You tube, and most of Google's acquisitions. Ballmer is a product of Harvard; Gates is a product of Harvard. So it makes sense that Facebook would also be a product of Harvard.

        If you carry this one step further, Harvard is closer to the EU than Stanford and hence EU monarchy monopoly ways would be more likely from those at Harvard than at Stanford. Hence a back room deal, kick back, rip off of some kind more likely. The price paid would indicate this. We must not evaluate Microsoft like we evaluate already legitimate business. Microsoft still needs to be evaluated as Jackson would have us evaluate the organization.

        On a positive note - the decision not to appeal the EU antitrust case allows the healing to begin. The Brad Chase ecosystem and lawyer gold mine will not be used as a mechanism to loot the company any further.
        mighetto
  • RE: Are you surprised? Microsoft beats Google with Facebook deal

    This move surprised me too! But I think Mary Jo touched on something very important here specifically relating to the new blood of McAndrews. As a long time watcher of the evil empire myself, I have to say there seems to be alot of new blood coming in for the services business. From McAndrews to Debra Chrapaty who runs the Services infrastructure I have seen many of the old guard fall. Could we be witnessing one of those moments in time where Microsoft gets their $*!% together to go after a real threat?
    The Scooge
  • This is a wonderful move!

    Now at least Google won't have a chance at yet again owning another web property.

    Google has dipped it's hand in way too many stuff before. Take YouTube for instance. YouTube is practically still the same awful low-res, video site it always was. And it's only gotten worse since Google bought it. More videos being pulled off, more users suspended, it's pretty unfriendly these days.

    I doubt Microsoft would be dumb enough to change Facebook at all, if even completely. I'm betting Microsoft will just stick to putting up advertisments, and maybe making a few applications for Facebook, but that's it.
    quikboy
  • not really...

    considering how boring facebook is. It's supposed to
    be fun and exciting and a social network community.
    Like myspace, it will soon be relegated to 'i am a
    looser with no real friends' status (probably why
    microsoft wants to be part of it). I ban access to
    these type of sites at the request of most parents
    who are growing concerned over their child's lack of
    social skills (the more they interact with these type
    of on-line social networks the less able they are to
    converse naturally with other people face to face).
    While the underlying concept is good, in practice it
    soon becomes detrimental to people's ability to
    clearly rationalize their own behavior (several
    people that post talkback comments could be used as
    good examples of this).

    p.s. i apologize for the correct spelling, but being
    a techie means that i know how to spellcheck (another
    casualty of this concept).
    vi0l3t1975@...
  • Pfthhhhhhhh..

    Good Gawd Mary Jo even the survey which by the way I declined to do is biased to Microsoft!
    Where is our option for:
    ??? Facebook what? Never heard of it and Who cares!???
    aussieblnd@...
  • A good deal... but now what?

    As I've commented elsewhere, Micro$oft got a good deal with Facebook. But now what? Will Micro$oft run with it and make some real money, or will it kill facebook with (either unintentionally or otherwise). Micro$oft has not always been appreciative of innovation or even of good ideas. Historically, Micro$oft's embrace has not been without its fatal risks.
    mannyamador
  • RE: Are you surprised? Microsoft beats Google with Facebook deal

    Who cares really?
    Randalllind
  • Concerned

    I am concerned it is just a fad. Although Microsoft should recoup most of that money
    pretty quickly. I think it is a smart move, it is a lot less risky than splashing out $15
    billion in buying out Facebook completely.

    Was it a smart move when News Corp brought MySpace? I don't see many benefits,
    although I haven't looked into the figures, so I could be wrong.
    kyussmondo
  • RE: Are you surprised? Microsoft beats Google with Facebook deal

    It's great this happened. I have only one thing to say about facebook. Well, two actually:

    http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20071017
    http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20071018

    ...it speaks more than a thousand words.

    --
    Milan B
    http://www.guacosoft.com - modern PacMan clone
    mbabuskov
  • RE: Are you surprised? Microsoft beats Google with Facebook deal

    WHY ARE YOU SO ANTI MICROSOFT
    john_mcilroy1@...
    • ?? Why are you so dumb?

      Why are you so dumb?, If you bothered following the artical, or the longer story...
      RacefanPat
  • Apology accepted

    "I" is usually capitalized, though. Spellcheck should have caught that.
    olddognewtricks
  • With Facebook leaking personal infor it a good match

    Microsoft don't care about your personal information either so it a match made in heaven.

    Also if you look at MSN it will fail. MySpace has nothing to worry about.
    Randalllind
  • The only thing Microsoft could do

    To surprise anybody is use decent
    treatment toward their customers, and
    maybe show a tiny bit of respect for
    their competitors.

    It would also be a shocking surprise
    if they treated a partner as a
    partner instead of a door-mat.

    Pity the poor slob in Facebook's
    shoes now. Not a partner, just
    another expensive meal.
    Ole Man
  • RE: Are you surprised? Microsoft beats Google with Facebook deal

    If as it says, that MS now holds exclusive ad rights to Facebook, then to bad so sad, I'm out. It's not worth it to me to be bombarded by MS and MS exclusive partners. MS in - I'm out!
    Sheeva
  • Not surprised. Google still far ahead.

    http://bmannconsulting.com/blog/bmann/google-announces-opensocial-open-api-connecting-social-networks

    Google has developed their own social networking API to connect social networks such as... Facebook.

    Google ftw.
    james.faction