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2013 will be the year that Microsoft becomes relevant once again.
It will begin to use its dominant position on the desktop and in gaming to build an exciting ecosystem that will make Microsoft a compelling choice for consumers, and by extension an increasingly important advertising partner for marketers.
Looking for a tablet this holiday shopping season? If you are, and you're leaning towards a shiny new iPad, wait just a minute: Oprah wants you to know that she loves the Microsoft Surface. How much does the billionaire media personality love it? According to a tweet she posted this past Sunday, Oprah has already purchased 12 of the devices as gifts for Christmas.
Don't expect Apple to lose any sleep over Oprah's endorsement of Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet: if you believe Oprah posted the tweet in question, she did so from her iPad.
Earlier this year, Microsoft created headlines when word broke that the Redmond software giant would enable Do Not Track (DNT) by default in the newest version of its browser, IE10. Although these claims were initially questioned, Microsoft clarified that, in an effort to "balance ease of use with choice and control," it would indeed enable DNT as part of its default settings during Windows 8 setup and IE upgrades.
That set the stage for battle and it didn't take long for the ad industry to respond to Microsoft's approach with harsh criticism.
Whether you're an internet giant like Google, Microsoft or Facebook, or a small publisher trying to carve out a niche, chances are one of your biggest priorities is solving the mobile monetization riddle.
The good news: there's little reason to believe that the future of mobile advertising isn't bright.
How big will it be? That remains to be seen, but even if it's not as big as the staunchest bulls believe, it's still going to be big by virtue of volume.
In 1998, the United States Department of Justice and 20 states filed a lawsuit against Microsoft alleging that the software giant abused a monopoly position in the market to dominate the market for web browsers.
The stakes were high. If it lost, Microsoft could have been forced to break itself into two parts. And even though it eventually settled under more favorable terms, the case against Microsoft is arguably the defining moment in the company's history.
At the IAB Mixx conference in New York today, Microsoft Advertising revealed their new Windows 8 and IE 10 platform that will be available October 26. Their focus is on integrating between the boundaries of hardware, OS and the cloud to virtually integrate eco-systems to move them to a position to closer compete with Apple, who are currently winning the battle for a smarter enterprise.
We are living in the time of the digitalization of society and as devices and technology have opened our minds to what is possible, our expectations are far surpassing what we're able to experience as consumers. For the most part, advertising is falling behind and consumers aren't getting the integration and personalization they are expecting as we move to digitalize almost ever aspect of what we do.
It's not a surprise that Microsoft's plan to effectively make enabling Do Not Track (DNT) an opt-out decision instead of an opt-in decision when setting up Internet Explorer 10 is not going over well with players in the digital advertising industry.
Online ads are a multi-billion dollar industry and while most would agree that changes resulting from consumer privacy concerns are inevitable, Microsoft's approach to Do Not Track goes further than it should.
In June, Microsoft announced that it was putting its weight behind Do Not Track (DNT) efforts and would ship the next version of Internet Explorer with a DNT preference enabled.
A week later, the company's plans were called into question as it became clear that Microsoft's approach would run afoul of the current DNT specification draft, which states that a browser can't send a DNT preference "without a user's explicit consent."
So where does Microsoft stand now?
Prior to the launch of the new iPad, use of Apple's tablet device was primarily being used as an internet access and entertainment device.
According to research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), just 13% of iPad owners were using their iPads for business owners. But that may be changing.
Microsoft is making big, bold bets on its new operating system, Windows 8, which is set for release later this year.
Windows 8 is, in large part, Microsoft's response to a world that is increasingly mobile, and in which tablet devices may be competing with desktops for consumers' computing time.
Just two weeks ago, sources close to Yahoo's search for a new CEO indicated that the ailing internet giant's board of directors was set to put the company's future in the hands of either interim CEO Ross Levinsohn or current Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.
Both prospective CEOs have strong media pedigrees, which suggesed that Yahoo's board was prepared to guide the company down a familiar and not-always-successful ad and content-driven path.