Microsoft: King of All Media
Redmond magazine's executive editor of features, Lafe Low, will now be
writing Wednesday's Redmond Reports. Send all your comments and questions about
today's topics to [email protected].
Look out, Howard Stern -- Bill Gates is right on your tail. Seemingly vying
for Stern's self-proclaimed title as "King of All Media," Microsoft
is venturing further into the realm of advertiser-supported content.
The Redmondites just inked
deals with Volvo Car Corp. and Chivas Regal to develop two new series of
videos. One is a comedy about a driving instructor, and the other is an adventure
travel show. Just to be perfectly clear, Volvo is sponsoring the driving show
and Chivas Regal is behind the travel show. You won't see the results on your
TV though, as both series are Web-based.
Microsoft is working on the two series with Reveille, the production company
responsible for TV shows like "Ugly Betty" and "The Office."
The two companies have worked together before on similar sponsored videos that
have run on MSN. Capitalizing on the national obsession with cooking shows,
the pair produced "Chef to the Rescue," with the essential ingredient
of sponsorship coming from Kraft Foods.
Speaking at a national conference for advertising and media executives this
week, Gates also presented new technology that makes online video more interactive
and lets search engine users preview search results. Both technologies open
new doors for advertisers, he said, and will "revolutionize not only advertising
but the whole way people consume media, they way they communicate and the way
Ay, caramba! As technology, media and market forces merge, will there
be no escape from advertising?
Keep an eye on MSN and you'll see the videos running some time over the next
six months. So what's next? A reality show based in Redmond? "Pimp My Code"?
What do you think about the slow and steady joining of technology and media
-- including sponsored content? How much do you think the spread of sponsored
content will influence what you're able to see and what's produced? Let me know
at [email protected].
Do Red and Blue Go Together?
Renowned, often revered and occasionally reviled Linux developer Red
Hat has partnered with IBM to create and distribute versions of Red Hat's
OS configured specifically to run on IBM mainframe systems. The companies announced
the news at a Red Hat users' conference that kicked off today.
This has to put a bit of a crimp in Novell's plans. IBM has historically worked
mostly with Novell's SuSE Linux on the IBM System z mainframe line, which will
be the target for the new Red Hat-IBM collaboration.
Up until now, it has been mostly Red Hat on the smaller systems and mostly
Novell on the enterprise class systems. Well, more competition and more choices
are good, right?
What's your take on this? Who's your preferred Linux/Unix vendor? Where are
you using open source in your organization? Open up to me at [email protected].
More on the open source front: Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson
will be working with Sun Microsystems on a new multimedia application server.
The new server platform will be powered by open source Java technology as part
of the GlassFish community.
Sun and Ericsson both also plan to start a supporting program to provide the
development community with resources, technical background, testing platforms
and tools from both companies.
Making the announcement at the JavaOne Conference in San Francisco, the Sun
folks explained that this open source contribution means Java developers, system
integrators and any other interested developers will have access to the technology
and resources they need to develop multimedia, VOIP, IM and next-generation
What do you see coming on the communications horizon? What sort of communications
technology are you using or deploying in your organization? Check in at [email protected].
Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.