Will MTV Mean Microsoft Television?
Microsoft has taken another step into the world of advertising. This time,
the Redmond giant has scooped up a Massachusetts-based interactive television
advertising firm called Navic
Navic's technology is centered around interactive television -- the kind of
thing you see during interactive polls or broadcasting live questions to which
viewers can respond. Navic also develops a tool called Admira, which is targeted
directly at advertisers for measuring consumer behavior and tracking advertising
Navic has established partnerships with numerous cable and satellite TV companies.
It says its interactive technology is installed on more than 35 million televisions
throughout the United States. This gives Microsoft a powerful leap into the
world of television advertising, as it continues to blend with other interactive
technologies. Terms of the deal under which Microsoft is buying Navic, founded
in 2001, weren't disclosed.
What do you expect to see as the worlds of technology continue to collide?
Are you becoming numb to advertising messages? Drives me nuts -- advertisers
must have given up on me long ago. They could offer to sell me a Ferrari for
five bucks in a pop-up ad, and I still couldn't click to close the thing soon
enough. Let me know your thoughts at [email protected].
Firefox on Fire
Firefox was going for a record 5 million downloads when it hit
the Web yesterday. Did it make it? The site was certainly bogged down as
crowds of eager downloaders flocked to the site to get Firefox 3 -- the latest
and greatest from the volunteer army at Mozilla.
Just after the download for the new version went live, the
site was slowed down or, in some cases, became completely inaccessible,
according to performance monitoring firm AlertSite. After a couple of hours,
things returned to normal as some of the overly eager Firefox hounds somehow
found something else to do.
Part of the problem was the concerted effort by Firefox fans. People had organized
download parties around the world, trying to set a record for the most downloads
within a 24-hour stretch. While that's indeed a noble goal -- and they probably
met it, although I think they missed the 5 million milestone -- it will take
a while for the record-keepers at Guinness to validate the attempt.
Some of the updates to the new Firefox 3 help you organize your favorite Web
sites and block known malware sites. There are also several performance and
interface design improvements.
How do you browse? Are you a dyed-in-the-wool Internet Explorer fan, or have
you tried burning it up with Firefox? Is there anything the browsers currently
on the market are still missing? Browse on over to [email protected]
and let me know.
It had to happen. You keep hearing about Facebook and MySpace attracting the
attention of deep-pocketed investor types, while relatively quietly in the background,
professional people have been doing similar types of networking -- although
more for career advancement than digging up the latest gossip on the class flirt
-- on LinkedIn.
In fact, I had seen LinkedIn mentioned as an attractive acquisition alternative
to Yahoo as Microsoft's initial attempt at scooping up the search company contender
began to fall apart.
So it had to happen. LinkedIn has caught the attention of the big bucks of
Silicon Valley. Bain Capital Ventures, Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital and
Bessemer Venture Partners have ponied up a total of $53 million for a 5 percent
stake of LinkedIn (that's 5 percent among the four or them, not 5 percent each).
The four money magnates have also valued
LinkedIn at a whopping $1 billion.
LinkedIn helps connects people for the primary purpose of career advancement.
So far, the site has nearly 23 million people signed up. LinkedIn pays the rent
by charging advertising fees and users fees for advanced subscriptions. It anticipates
generating revenue upwards of $100 million this year.
Both Facebook -- which also received a hefty valuation when Microsoft
dropped $240 million on it last year for a small piece -- and LinkedIn are
expected to go public within a couple of years. That is, if they can stave off
companies hungry for a prime acquisition.
Do you use LinkedIn? Facebook? MySpace? What's your overall take on the social
networking phenomenon? Link up with me at [email protected]
and let me know. And as always, you can read more about these and other stories
Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.