Tag Archives: Microsoft

Company Tie-Ins Between Bing and Yahoo Will Considerably Increase Revenue For Businesses Using Bing Ads

Over the last year Bing was working on Skype-integrated click-to-call mobile ads. After all the anticipation, Bing has finally announced them.

Microsoft’s Ambrish Verma introduced Bing’s new Call Extensions on the Bing Ads Blog. This will work across all devices and, obviously, utilize Skype. No one else has something like this.

On WebProNews, Chris Crum mentions how “this is one way where Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype can have a direct impact on revenue.”

This new feature can do a lot. Off of any device, Call Extensions for Bing Ads will allow advertisers can call customers directly from their ads. “With this new innovation, companies can now directly talk to their customers by providing a phone number alongside search ad. This will considerably increase the potential customers for your business. A consumer can then can call a business by simply clicking on the phone number shown on the ad. These opportunities are exclusive to Bing Ads. That’s the genius behind it. With this new way of advertising, the advertisers will be paying per click.

Thanks to the Microsoft Yahoo search advertising deal, not only will extensions will be seen on Bing, but Yahoo as well.

Microsoft is will provide analytic reports to help the businesses monitor the effectiveness of the ads. These reports will include:  impressions, calls and spending data, and reports for individual calls received from the extensions.

Windy City Strategies is here to help you with any internet marketing needs, and keep you posted on the latest news.

Alternatives To Google Reader

Google announced that they are retiring their Google Reader service, which leaves less than one month for those who love it to find a new alternative.


The service, which allowed users to organize their favorite websites, blogs, news pages, maps and other content, will be ending on July 1st after having a loyal following since 2005. Either way those who enjoy using Google reader will have to find a new back up come next month.


If you are fond of Google Reader an equivalent services that you can use is Feedly. Upon Google’s announcement, Feedly also released an update on its plans to improve their services including better search features, adding pure web access, improving group sharing, and adding Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps and any other bugs will be fixed.


Feedly’s goal is to transition any former Google Reader users to use their company’s services.  According to Feedly, 68% of all users who try it will end up converting into weekly active users. And current users have been doubling the amount of time they spend using the service. Feedly operates in a similar fashion to Google Reader and it allows you to transition your current Google Reader feeds. It is a clean and easy to use alternative.

Bing Adaptive Search Introduces Search Personalization

Google has received some flack for their behind-the-scenes search personalization, utilizing predictive analysis to anticipate the results you’d be most interested in, before you see them.

But that hasn’t stopped Bing from launching Adaptive Search, Microsoft’s attempt at roughly the same thing. And their release of this new feature slightly downplays the release, viewing it “less as a ‘feature’ and more of what to expect from search”.

That’s how many people see it. An obvious step in the evolution of predictive search technology. Bing provides the example of an obvious film fanatic, based on prior searches, searching for ‘Australia’, you’re probably searching for the film, rather than the country. Now, these filters won’t trap users in a filter bubble, taking a huge assumption and radically altering your search results based on the prediction.

These are simple tweaks aimed at helping you find what you’re really looking for a little bit faster.

Microsoft’s Amy Winehouse Social Media Gaffe

Whenever an individual or business makes a terrible mistake using social media, we at Windy City Strategies want to make sure we call it out, in order to help us all avoid similar social media gaffes in the future.

Today’s lesson comes at the expense of Microsoft, who shortly after the tragic death of singer Amy Winehouse, tweeted, “Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Black’ over at Zune…” with a link to their Zune music service. C’mon Microsoft.

You could have been more subtle than that. After all, her album sales increased 37 times after her death, jumping to the top of the charts. Apple simply posted an image of Winehouse on the front of their iTunes store with the caption, “Remembering Amy Winehouse.” Amazon posted a brief obituary and a link to her music.

All similar tactics. But, Microsoft’s just wasn’t subtle enough.

How Big a Deal is Microsoft Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 has been released. Deemed by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as “where Microsoft Office meets the cloud”, industry insiders are calling it “Google Docs catchup”.

But, while it may not be incredibly sexy from an innovation standpoint, is Microsoft Office 365 a huge deal? We have to remember that for 2 decades, Microsoft Office productivity software has dominated the industry. And this online suite brings Office, Sharepoint, Exchange and Lync to cloud computing, making it possible for you to create, edit and share your documents from wherever you are.

But, this is Microsoft. Not Google. And depending on what online apps you want, your monthly subscription will range from $2 to $27 per month. In my opinion, this hugely incentivizes individuals to switch to Google Apps and Google Docs in particular. But, Microsoft may get a bunch of new business customers and revenue from this. And that’s been their bread and butter lately, so it probably makes sense. But, why don’t more businesses make the leap to Google? Only if they’re tied to the legacy tools they’re used to.

If You Make An App, How Many Do You Have to Make

As the tech community continues its evolution to a universal standard of Web programming (think HTML5), the new world of mobile operating systems is already starting out completely fragmented.

Let’s say you decide to make an app. Well, you have to decide who you’re going to make it for. Because if you want your entire customer base to enjoy the fruits of your labor, you can’t just make it for Apple. (<– like that pun?)

Because Apple’s iPhone App Store sells 33 million App downloads each day. But Google’s Android App Store sells nearly 17 million a day. Plus Blackberry, Nokia, Palm and Microsoft. And your decision becomes not what kind of app are you developing, but who won’t get to use it.

What Happened to Yahoo?

What happened to Yahoo? Do you remember when it used to be THE search engine. THE Internet company to be afraid of, to be in awe of? Years later, that same company ended up in a search deal with Microsoft, which has definitely helped Bing, but it doesn’t look like it’s helped Yahoo.

So that begs the question, what delusions of grandeur does Yahoo have within them? And also, what’s their realistic play to maintain their role as a player in the industry? Because, Yahoo’s talent pool is running dry. Their reach is much much smaller than its ever been. The perfect size to focus on their core strengths, if they can decide what those might be.

Perhaps they need a new and visionary leader that can breathe life into their business model? Although, I think Steve Jobs is busy.

Apple Now the Most Valuable Brand in the World

What a decade its been for Apple.

Remember when the iPod came out? The Apple-PC wars had been strong before then. But the iPod shone a national spotlight on Apple. For 10 years, Apple has been playing the position of underdog. Even us devotees still think of them as the alternative option. But, right before our eyes, Apple has soared to become the most valuable brand in the world. Shooting ahead of Google in #2, and firmly atop a list that includes IBM, McDonalds and Microsoft in positions 3, 4 and 5, respectively.

It’s the latest two inventions that have really helped Apple take the 84% jump in brand value this past year; the iPad and iPhone. Apple is selling more iPads than Macs, and more iPhones than iPods. By creating products consumers aren’t aware they need, Steve Jobs has been able to design winner after winner. And this underdog is one no longer.

Microsoft Users Adopt IE9 5 Times Faster Than IE8

First to market is much more important than best to market.

There’s no better example of that than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. While tech snobs, programmers and MAC users, typically prefer Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari, in that order, Internet Explorer still holds a +50% share of the market. Why? Because they were there first.

And signs that they’re going to stick around for a while got even better based on the adoption rate of its new browser evolution, Internet Explorer 9. Getting great reviews, Ryan Gavin from Microsoft is now claiming that, “The adoption rate of IE9 is about five times higher then what we saw for Internet Explorer 8 in the same time frame.”

Great news for Microsoft. But, here’s something to think about. Many people download multiple browsers now. So a download to “see what the fuss is all about” isn’t necessarily “adoption.”

Yahoo Unsurprisingly Falls in Search Market Rankings

Yahoo’s leadership team is getting flack for falling in the search market rankings. But, this is unfair. When Microsoft bought Yahoo! Search, it was a sign to the market that Yahoo had given up. So, if Bing is now where this dual power is going to be, that’s where I’m going to go. Plus, Bing’s advertising campaign has been blaring for two years now, without a single Yahoo search ad.

Yet, Yahoo shareholders are pouting that Yahoo’s search ad share will fall to 8.1 percent this year, and is predicted to plummet to a new low of 6.5 percent next year. News flash: That’s what happens when you sell off your search market. The really bad news is on Microsoft’s end. Because Google AdWords is still growing – predicted at 75.2% this year, and up to 76.6% in 2012. And Microsoft is climbing at a tortoise’ pace, up from 10.2% last year to 10.8% this year, and 11.1% in 2012.