I can’t disagree with anything here but I do have some separate thoughts on this:
Microsoft’s foray into advertising can be called a misstep if you’re feeling charitable and a major strategic blunder if not. The company was long thought a sleeping giant of the ad business, constantly making big pronouncements, seemingly having every advantage to serve as a counterweight to the growing power of Google, and even garnering the goodwill of advertisers and publishers alike wary of Google’s growing might. And yet, with a whimper this week, Microsoft beat a
As much as they bet on a dying platform, Microsoft advertising would still be relevant today if they had made one good bet. Mobile. Apps. Installs. Data. Marketing. Automation. You get the picture. One bet that was right was search, but they were going up against Google. So that’s that.
Microsoft embraced the idea of having time and resources on their side. The “X year strategy” where X is a number around 10. The issue is that this race turned out to be the 1500 meters instead of a marathon. They were competing to stay relevant against Google but then Google is potentially on the verge of becoming irrelevant.
The advertising landscape has change where it’s dominated by the owners of large owned and operated properties. Again, if Microsoft had made the right bet on that front, things would be different. Otherwise, with mobile the landscape has changed dramatically. There’s something newer and bigger in software on the horizon that’s a better fit for Microsoft as an organization. Satya is positioning the firm the ride that wave. That’s why ditching advertising is the right move for Microsoft.