InsideMicrosoft

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Floppy Disk Software Protection Campaign

Joystiq has an article about a “Don’t Copy That Floppy” campaign that the Software Publishers Association ran around 1992. There’s some real ridiculousness in the video (available on Google Video), with a rapper inserting himself into Flight Simulator and Tetris and warning of the “end of the computer age”.

Take a look right at the end, where they say you have permission to copy this video, just not software. Good thing it isn’t wrapped up in proprietary formats…

February 17th, 2006 Posted by | General, Humor | one comment



MSN Ranks Well With Conversions; Google, Not So Much

A survey of which major search engine results in the best conversion rate puts AOL as #1, and Google dead last. The study tracks visitors who go from the search engine to business-to-consumer e-commerce sites, and how often they buy something.

Search Engine
Median (All Categories)
AOL
6.17%
MSN
6.03%
Yahoo!
4.07%
Google
3.83%

This does mesh with what we know of users of these engines, Google may be extraordinarily popular, but its users are less likely to be swayed by advertisements, or as the release explains it:

“One way to explain the difference in conversion rates is demographics,” said Ali Behnam, senior digital marketing consultant for WebSideStory. “With portals rich in content and services, AOL, MSN and Yahoo may tend to appeal toward a more buyer friendly demographic. Google, meanwhile, may appeal to more browsers – those with less of an intent to buy.”

“All of this suggests search engine marketers may want to consider demographics in allocating their budgets,” Behnam said.

One thing to consider, with MSN converting 50% above Google, it could conceivably have less market share and earn more money. Perhaps MSN should have bought Snap.com and used their cost-per-action ad system, which would have worked perfectly with their audience.

Interestingly, the less a website caters to the Google crowd, the more money it makes per visitor. I remember that back when Jeeves had almost a full page of ads (around a year ago), it was getting many more ad clicks per visitor than Google. Problem is, the less you are like Google, the more you make per visitor, and the less visitors you get. So, its a catch-22, one that, if balanced properly, can result in lots of money.
(via Search Engine Roundtable)

February 17th, 2006 Posted by | AskJeeves, General, Google, MSN, Search, Yahoo | one comment

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Windows Live Code Name “Vegas”

Microsoft is starting beta testing of a Windows Live service code-named “Vegas”. Vegas will bring parental controls to Windows through a downloadable program. The current product name is Windows Live Family Safety Settings, which will hopefully change before release.

From BetaNews:

“It’s an a easy-to-use, flexible way to help keep the kind of content you deem inappropriate from reaching your children–like alcohol, pornography, gambling, tobacco, etc. Windows Live Family Safety Settings Beta also lets you create individual accounts for each child, and see activity reports on the Web sites your kids have visited,” Microsoft said in an e-mail. The service can be turned off when parents wish to browse the Web.

Speakin’ of Windows Live, got 9 more Live Messenger beta invites. First nine to ask, gets them.

February 17th, 2006 Posted by | General, Live, Windows | no comments

links for 2006-02-17

February 17th, 2006 Posted by | General, Google, Humor, Windows | no comments

Xbox Japan Chief Replaced

Joystiq reports that Microsoft’s Xbox Japan General Manager Yoshihiro Marayuma was demoted and replaced by marketing head Takashi Sensui. Now, I can understand the sacking, since the Xbox 360 was as popular in Japan as SARS, although more people picked up SARS than a 360. What I don’t understand is why the marketing chief got the promotion; it wasn’t like he did that good of a job either. After all, wouldn’t really good marketing have sold more consoles?

February 17th, 2006 Posted by | General, Xbox, Xbox 360 | no comments