Has Microsoft solved the ad spend conundrum?

According to the age-old axiom, half the money spent on advertising is wasted. Does the same apply to advertising technology development?
Written by Phil Wainewright, Contributor

Some light-hearted commentary. Nineteenth-century department store founder John Wanamaker is said to have lamented, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half." This well-known axiom sprang to mind when I read fellow ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley's report earlier this week that "There is 'lots of redundant development' going on at Microsoft and Yahoo, especially in the search and advertising arenas, according to Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie."

It sounds as though half the money Microsoft and Yahoo jointly spend on developing online advertising technologies is wasted. The big unanswered question is, does Mundie know which half?

Talking of Microsoft, Dennis Howlett says that the newly launched Google Sites is practically unusable. Mary Jo Foley says Sites is trying to compete with SharePoint. That's true, from what I've heard, SharePoint does have a lot of usability issues. Google must have decided if that's what it takes to get a million-plus users, then so be it.

While on the topic of Google, I wonder which half of its customers just decided to waste less of their money on advertising?

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