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Jul 25, 2008

Microsoft Scores Facebook Search Deal And May Get A Little Live.com Branding To Boot

Ed: More software that works, less bravado - that's the way for Microsoft to fight back.

Blogger posts immediately submit to Google search, improving Google's blog search service. LinkedIn already makes profiles searchable. MySpace is opening data portability for search. A private Facebook deal with Microsoft would improve the people search that Google can't copy.

Microsoft Scores Facebook Search Deal And May Get A Little Live.com Branding To Boot

Microsoft SVP Satya Nadella has announced that the company has expanded its deal with Facebook to integrate Microsoft’s Live Search into the social network. There are few details at this point, but Microsoft will be serving up advertising (both traditional and sponsored search results) through Facebook by the end of the year. Microsoft previously bought a $240 million stake in Facebook at a massive $15 billion valuation, in exchange for global advertising rights.

The news parallels the search deal that Google signedwith MySpace in 2006, when it won the rights to provide search and advertising to the News Corp-owned social network, with a minimum rev share agreement of $900 million. Microsoft was also clamoring for search rights on MySpace at the time, but Google managed to beat it out by forging a hasty deal...

Microsoft Makes Calendar Sync Work

For anyone who uses multiple calendars, you know that one of the big issues that's being addressed by numerous applications is getting your calendars to sync up with each other. We've covered some solutions to this problem before, but we had not seen a truly integrated offering that allowed you to sync up a work calendar in desktop software with an onlne calendar without need of a third-party app of some sort...that is, until yesterday. It seems that Microsoft has finally given the people what they want and have provided a calendar sync tool that actually makes all of Microsoft's calendaring programs work together.

Outlook Connector Beta

The new tool providing this functionality is the latest version of the Outlook Connector public beta. This downloadable software works to sync Outlook's calendar with Windows Live Hotmail's Calendar with the Windows Live Calendar Beta. Such an integrated offering is a surprise considering that Microsoft is a company that's sometimes known for launching what are perceived as too-similar, parallel solutions (think FolderShare, SyncToy, SkyDrive, Mesh).

The previous version of this connector allowed you to sync email and contacts data between Outlook and Hotmail for free, but calendar sync required a subscription service. With this new version, however, calendar sync is now free and it includes the ability to work with Live Calendar beta. And because Live Calendar also supports calendar sharing, those shared calendars will sync back to Outlook, too.

For someone who uses an Outlook calendar at work, keeps a personal calendar in Hotmail, and perhaps has a shared family calendar in Live Calendar, this new sync tool will be incredibly useful. Whether you're online or offline, all your calendars are available from one place: Outlook...

Facebook to Integrate Microsoft Live Search by Fall

facebook-logo.pngAccording to a comment made at Microsoft's Analyst Day today, Microsoft and Facebook are preparing a search and advertising deal that would lead to the integration of Microsoft's Live Search and search advertising into Facebook. Microsoft already provides ads on Facebook as part of a 'strategic alliance' and Microsoft holds a $240 million equity stake in the company. No information about the financial specifics of the deal were mentioned so far and it is not clear if this deal would be exclusive.

Judging from the information available to us from the transcript of the call, Microsoft's main reason for doing this deal is to get more people to know about Live Search. As part of that effort, Microsoft will also ink a distribution deal for its toolbar with HP.

Also, according to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft will be providing an API to Facebook which will allow them to create a "rich search experience for the Facebook users and that is something that they will launch in the fall working with us. And it will carry both our web results, as well as our page search advertising."...

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