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Michael Gracie

Microsoft finally gets it?

Advertising is no substitute for product quality, but this spot was nicely done nonetheless:

It’s targeting a demographic – the question I pose is…which?

Jerry Yang Speaks

HI, I’M JERRY, AND I’LL BE YOUR WAITER TONIGHT.

Getting darker.

For this Microsoft ad, Free + Fun = Fail

Saw this nifty ad on the top of a web page. I instantly felt bored. It said free, and it sounded like fun.

click-to-play

Cure for what ailed me? No such luck – I arrived here.

fail

Microsoft: Do They Want To Be In The Yellow Pages Biz?

Eric Savitz asked the question, with emphasis on Yell Group.

They just might.

It’s a profitable business, and maybe the only segment in print publishing NOT whining about Craigslist. Plus, it’s generating revenue with something Google gives away, local listings. From what I remember, yellow pages businesses actually get a premium for their web listings, when combined with the print packages.

I like local web directories, and think there is a lot more that can be done with them besides just advertising.

Fed opens Yahoo Lending Facility

They’re bailing everyone else out, so why not?

Humor abounds:

In response to recent events Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously to authorize the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to create Yahoo Lending Facility (YLF) to avoid significant stock market distruption and to support Yahoo! Inc shares. Yahoo! Inc and its authorized agents will be able to borrow from the facility to support stock price.

This facility will be available for business on Monday, May 5. It will be in place for at least six months and may be extended as conditions warrant. The interest rate charged on the credit will be the same as the primary credit rate, or discount rate, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In addition, Yahoo! Inc shareholders who are unable to sell their shares at or above Friday, May 2 closing price, will be able to swap Yahoo! shares for the US Treasuries at the set price of $29.70 per share.

Via the Yahoo! message boards (with h/t to The Big Picture)

I figured Yahoo! would just issue some upper DECS equity units, but maybe the Fed found out there were already puts on the negative equity certificates, or something like that.

RSS Needs An Easy Button

Adam Ostrow:

While I might expect a start-up going after the early adopter techie crowd to take so much for granted, this is Microsoft, the world’s largest software company that is virtually unavoidable in at least some part of everyone’s digital lives. But Microsoft has made no effort to explain what RSS is, how to use it, and why it might matter to people outside of the Xhundred thousand (or however many) people use RSS religiously.

Agreed, wholeheartedly (and Microsoft isn’t the only culprit either).

First Look: Microsoft Office for Mac 2008

For those so inclined. Via Ars Technica.

First take here: Entourage gets a bad rap, but it works fine for me (even the 2004/Rosetta flavor). It catches POP and IMAP email, syncs to the Blackberry, and loads fast enough (at least for this human being). Regarding the rest, it looks like there is more glitz and glam on the way. I’m sure I’ll buy, even though I find myself using NeoOffice quite a bit already.

Departmental Quotes of the Day

Slightly less amusing than owning banking stocks

From the Screw FASB And Their Damn Year End Closings Department:

  • Quickbooks for Mac users were caught in an update debacle, with Intuit’s latest patch eating files. Intuit’s initial response: “…our recommendation for now is to turn off your computer and do not use it further.”
  • From the Every Dog Has Their Day Department:

  • “Losers average losers” – Paul Tudor Jones; “Losers average losers, unless both ‘losers’ are Goldman Sachs” – anonymous
  • From the Sallie Mae’s Collateral Is Worthless Department:

  • “To err is Human, but it requires an MBA to really fuc* up.” – Barry Ritholtz
  • From the I’ll Take That Muni At LIBOR + 16 Department:

  • “It is really a situation where states have been making promises that they have to pay for tomorrow and not putting the money aside today.” – Susan Urahn, managing director at Pew Center on the States.
  • and…

    From the Microsoft Ain’t Dead Yet Department:

  • “While you are waiting for it, users are still saying ‘I’ll just send you the Excel file’. While you are waiting for it, 94% of the country is getting shit done.” – one very reasonable software engineer
  • Today in computing security non-surprises…

    Microsoft privacy guru Kim Cameron fell victim to a blog hacking. Commenters on the site went crazy, at once blaming Microsoft products and playing nutty fanboy over LAMP. Unfortunately for them, Cameron’s blog doesn’t run on an MS backend…it’s FreeBSD cranking WordPress. No surprise…it’s neither Cameron’s or Microsoft’s fault, unless a jury concludes guilt by association is a crime.

    In other news, Stan Schroeder pounces…Macs are susceptible to viruses, despite what all the Apple fanboys think. I’m a longtime (but only semi-smug) Mac user, and I’ve previously warned Mac users to stay humble. A history of the OS X security debate via this susceptible-to-hacks blog can be found here.

    Mucho mini-roundup on Facebook, Microsoft and Google

    – Terrence Russell says Microsoft really didn’t overpay for it’s Facebook stake.

    – A journalist shill says Facebook is tripling up with some hedge funds while the going’s hot.

    – A credible source tries making sense of it all and concludes by inference that people never learn (even if the lesson just whacked their friends on the side of the head).

    – Still others are laughing that the joke’s not on them.

    Is this just a distraction? Did Google get Microsoft to pay a quarter-billion for some ad potential just as online advertising begins slipping?

    UPDATES:

    – Kara Swisher annihilates, with courtesy and professionalism.

    – Rumors by fake people have been picked up by the real. Note: that doesn’t necessarily validate anything.

    – Josh Catone opines it may be all about search.

    – Paul Kedrosky says Microsoft is now cursed.

    Meanwhile…

    More apps targeting humans with no money. And bad credit. All those ads, and no buying power. Hmm.

    STILL MORE:

    The Microsoft investment instantly makes MySpace worth $65 billion.