Since recession begun, American companies are busy laying off people. In recent turn of events, Microsoft has laid off roughly 200 people from their marketing department including their Chief Creative Officer Gayle Troberman. She is the one who came up with “I’m PC” campaign to counter Apple’s Mac vs PC ad and has been working with Microsoft for 16 years now.
According to Microsoft, due to low revenues, they plan to shift creative advertising responsibility to the product teams of Bing, Xbox and Windows.
Apparently, this move has been decided by the newly installed chief marketer Chris Caposella who led marketing for product group office before taking bigger responsibilities.
The layoffs will include people from Microsoft’s consumer-marketing group and business group.
Let’s see how this moves helps microsoft with alignment of marketing with the business needs. It maybe a good move to involve the product team to plan marketing, but how creative they can be, only time will tell.
But it is really disappointing to see that layoffs still continue when people are trying to be optimistic about getting out of recession.
Microsoft has come up with a new project called the “Art of Touch”. It is a digital canvas that lets users create and share digital art. It is only limited to users having HTML5 capable browsers though.
The “Art of Touch” is a marketing campaign for Microsoft’s touch computer mice. On the website, you can use your mouse or trackpad to create art using brushes and various effects developed by generative artists Erik Natzke, “Dr. Woohoo!” and Marius Watz.
Microsoft aims to make this project one of the largest digital art pieces in the world.
To make it more popular it also has social media features like sharing art on social networks, entering into competition and voting for friend’s art. Winners would be announced each week and the user who gets maximum votes by Dec 31 will get a grand prize.
Check the website and see for yourself.
On September 23, Microsoft launched a desktop site for its daily deals aggregation service Bing deals that features more than 200,000 daily deals from deal sites such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Tippr, Zozi and Gilt City and merchants such as Nordstrom, Target and Zappos.com.
The market for deal sites is increasing tremendously and with the last move by Google launching Google Offers.
Microsoft is no different. It displays daily top deals based on where the person is located or what they have searched.
According to Comscore, the deals seeking audience grew by 24% last year and Microsoft aims to tap this growing audience market. According to Microsoft, Bing Deals will help provide people with more targeted deals and reduce deal spam faced by users with non-stop irrelevant deals that they keep getting in their mail.
The deal market is already very saturated with big competitors such as Yipit, Savings.com taking the bigger market chunk. However, Microsoft claims that Bing Deals offers the feature of filtering the deals by retailer, location, keywords and category thereby filtering out the irrelevant deals.
It would be interested to see how Bing Deals gives a competition to Google Offers. At the end of the day, the number of users using Bing and Google is what will matter. Bing has just 14% of search market share compared to 60% of Google which will be tough for Microsoft to make Bing Deals a hit.
Users interested in using Bing Deals can either go to home page of Bing from their desktops or m.bing.com from mobiles.
Have you tried Bing Deals yet?
U.S. Federal Trade Commission has begun an investigation into whether Google has unfairly used its dominance to squash its competitors, reported Wall Street Journal.
The investigation aims to examine Google’s business practices as a whole. Google generates $30 billion in annual revenue, making it the king of search advertising, a dominance that just keeps growing even though Microsoft is investing heavily in development and promotions. Google owns 75.2% of search-advertising dollars, compared to Microsoft’s 10.8%.
Recently FTC has been very active in reviewing and pursuing digital companies, and this new investigation into Google might be a good platform to set a new standard for how may be allowed to operate in the digital space.
Google is no stranger to government scrutiny. It has been in clashes and lawsuits ever since it came into business. Lets see how thing goes, but it surely would be interesting to get some standards for operation in the digital sphere.
Microsoft is now all set to make the rapidly increasing online information more user-friendly and accessible with a new personalized search engine – Emporia.
A team of five scientists have been working in Cambridge to develop a search engine that is intelligent enough to learn and provide search results based on individual needs.
Ralf Herbrich, a Microsoft manager, recently announced the developments at the Next11 conference in Berlin, he even brought along a prototype to demonstrate.
Microsoft hopes to make the rapidly growing flood of information online more user-friendly and accessible with its new personalised search engine, Emporia.
To tell whether an item is relevant for a user, the Emporia project also analyses data from posts on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Knowledge and concrete experience from these networks is growing ever more important, says Herbrich.
The first prototype of Project Emporia is ready for mobile use on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and is already one of the top 10 apps on Microsoft’s Marketplace.
Emporia provides results by analyzing news streams, searching for keywords and key categories and filtering for interesting stories. Users can refine the results by following certain people of websites.
Personalized appraisals are expected to result in data that is more relevant to an individual’s personal interests.