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Microsoft May Give Up Ad Business Soon

Microsoft has been among the very few companies which have voluntarily decided to go forth with the ‘Do Not Track’ feature. The company has made it a default feature in Internet Explorer 10, a decision that was highly praised and welcome by privacy advocates and many users. However, this decision may also spell doom for Microsoft’s advertisement division.


The problem, it seems, is that there was absolutely no communication between the ad division and the Windows division of the company. The Windows division of the company, naturally  under which most of the IE-10 related work and policies fell, made a decision. The decision was to make DNT a default feature on IE10.

The ad division, on the other hand, was absolutely unaware of it. Of course how else would they bring advertisers on board than by offering them certain viewership in return. But when the Windows division announced the DNT feature, this blew away the ad division since they had been kept in the dark and were suddenly taken by surprise.

According to an anonymous ad executive within Microsoft, “The decision was made with zero discussion or awareness by the Microsoft Advertising side of it. And yet by the same token the company has been putting them, forcing them, forward in front of the rest of the advertising world to back it, and that’s been tough.”

As a result of this discord, fractures can be seen emerging within Microsoft.  And if nothing is done to resolve them, the inevitable outcome would be, as is also being predicted by many tech analysts, that Microsoft may have to eventually abandon its online advertising division altogether, since it has run into big losses.

An official response from Microsoft in an email, addressing this issue, stated the following:

Multi-stakeholder discussions regarding the appropriate response to the DNT signal are ongoing and we look forward to continuing to participate in them. We believe a uniform industry-wide response is important in order to provide a consistent consumer experience across the web. As we announced in February, Microsoft Advertising intends to treat the do-not-track browser signal as an opt-out of behavioral advertising under the Digital Advertising Alliances self-regulatory program. Microsoft does not yet respond to the DNT signal, but we are actively working with other advertising industry leaders on what an implementation plan for DNT might look like, with a goal of announcing more details about our plans in the coming months.

Source: Business Insider

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