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Wildcard Prediction December 4, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I’m probably not allowed to say this, and I’m certainly not paid to do so. But here’s the wildcard prediction, based on the announcement of a new Online Services chief at Microsoft, who’s an ex-Yahoo engineering manager rather than a media or product guy:

Microsoft spins off MSN to Yahoo, which also buys a chunk of AOL. Microsoft and Time Warner remain minority shareholders in the resulting uber-portal. Search and ad networks powered by Microsoft technology.

– Unites consumer email, IM, a couple of powerful ad networks, and a lot of valuable online content properties
– Doesn’t solve integration issues, social media missteps, or lack of a leadership role in video
– Isn’t necessarily competitive in search, but has potential
– Is very competitive in display. Perhaps too competitive?
– Leaves a lot of mobile questions unanswered
– Doesn’t necessarily unite search and display marketplaces or attribution techniques
– Is going to be a hard sell as a partner for branded media

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