Microsoft, Mergers, Google Print Ads & Fun Finds

Bill Gates Reveals His Plans For 2007

Attending the eighth annual Strategic Account Summit, Bill Gates announced he will spend his last Microsoft year focusing on "search, buyers and sellers", putting his energy into developing online and advertising services.

A mighty good plan after the Seattle Times reported that adCenter "didn’t have the smoothest launch" and has had a very difficult time attracting advertisers. Another sign of trouble – there’s been significant turnover by adCenter’s top management. Yikes.

Hopefully, Microsoft will be able to turn it around. From what I’ve heard about the pay per click service, the technology is there; it’s everything else that’s missing.

eBay and StumbleUpon: Together At Last?

More rumors that eBay and StumbleUpon may be shacking up are coming from TechCrunch. Duncan Riley reports that the two are in advanced talks for eBay to acquire StumbleUpon for a reported $75 million. Are you excited? Are you on the edge of your seat dying to see what happens? Yeah, me neither.

Why is eBay willing to pay so much for StumbleUpon? Om Malik says it’s all about the StumbleUpon toolbar:

By marrying the toolbar to Skype client, eBay can do an end run around Google’s dominance of the search business. A simple search box inside Skype client is all it would take. It is not that far fetched: Skype has been slowly integrating various different services (including PayPal) into its client, and slowly becoming eBay’s desktop backdoor.

Google Print Ads Integrated Into AdWords

Marketing Pilgrim had the scoop about Google Print Ads being integrated into Google AdWords. Andy provides screenshots and says advertisers are able to select a date range for ads to run, weekly spend and select newspapers by schedule, circulation and relative costs directly from the console. It was announced last month that Google would launch its program into extended beta.

The list of available newspapers is pretty exhaustive. There’s everything from the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald to the Fresno Bee to the Hartford Courant. Something for everyone.

Fun Finds

James Thomas recounts what happened when he gave up Google for two weeks. Did you hear that? Someone gave up Google and lived.

Jane Copland brought us the results of SEOmoz’s Web 2.0 awards. Normally, I never resist an opportunity to take a shot at a Mozzer (especially after Jane said I sucked), but I know from all her whining that Jane worked her butt off on this. So, good job and enjoy your reprieve, Kiwi.

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