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December 9, 2009

Microsoft and NetApp announce three year collaboration agreement

Posted by David Hunter at 9:05 PM ET.

Microsoft and storage appliance vendor NetApp to day announced a three year collaboration agreement:

Under the new agreement, the two companies will collaborate and deliver technology solutions that span virtualization, private cloud computing, and storage and data management, enabling customers to increase datacenter management efficiencies, reduce costs and improve business agility.

As part of the new strategic alliance agreement, NetApp and Microsoft will expand product collaboration and technical integration activities, including the following areas:

• Virtualized infrastructure solutions based on Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center and NetApp storage systems. These solutions can provide reliable data availability and streamlined data management, and can help maximize server and storage utilization by using 50 percent less storage compared to a baseline of traditional storage.

• Storage and data management solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and Microsoft SQL Server that improve communications and collaboration, enable faster, better-informed decision-making, and greatly accelerate software development and testing.

• Efficient and flexible cloud computing and hosted services solutions that provide integrated data protection, “always on” data access, and a flexible, cost-effective infrastructure.

In addition, NetApp and Microsoft will enable customers to experience firsthand the value of joint solutions at the Microsoft Technology Centers around the world and at industry events. Both companies will participate in engagements with channel partners and industry-leading systems integrators, offering technology solutions that are comprehensive and easy to use.

It is a non-exclusive deal so both parties will have other irons in the fire, but it is a natural match since NetApp specializes in file system based storage appliances (as opposed to raw block disk storage) and who loves their own files systems better than Microsoft? The agreement undoubtedly helps NetApp compete with the raw storage providers like EMC and presumably Microsoft gets a boost competing with VMware.



Filed under Alliances, Coopetition, EMC, Microsoft, NetApp, VMware

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November 2, 2009

Microsoft allies with OpenX for third party publisher ad sales

Posted by David Hunter at 12:55 PM ET.

Today Microsoft announced an alliance with OpenX, the vendor of an open source Web ad server and proprietor of a Web advertising market for smaller publishers. The objective is for

… the companies to cross-market and promote products to their respective publisher bases. Under terms of the multiyear agreement, OpenX becomes a preferred partner to publishers for enterprise ad serving solutions. In addition, OpenX will promote Microsoft’s Content Ads monetization products — as well as other products that may be developed in the future — to its existing base of Web publisher customers.

OpenX and Microsoft will each enjoy significant benefits from the partnership. Most notably, Microsoft will have a major distribution channel for its monetization products through OpenX’s community of more than 150,000 Web sites that serve more than 300 billion ads per month. OpenX will, in turn, gain access to a new base of potential customers — via referrals from Microsoft — for its enterprise advertising technology and services.

The Content Ads component of the agreement follows a successful trial Microsoft and OpenX began in August 2008, during which OpenX provided invitations to its publishers to test the product. Content Ads matches ads to relevant editorial content, allowing advertisers to increase campaign effectiveness, which can allow publishers to achieve a higher yield on certain types of inventory. As part of the agreement, OpenX will promote Content Ads in two ways. First, OpenX will integrate Content Ads so that it can be used by publishers who sign up for OpenX Market to better monetize their pages. The company will also build a plug-in to OpenX Ad Server so existing publisher customers can more easily sign up for Content Ads and implement it on their Web site(s). OpenX is the first reseller approved by Microsoft to build a plug-in for Content Ads.

Content Ads is Microsoft’s competitor for Google AdSense and this agreement is an easy way to add ad volume among third party publishers. It is a natural alliance, since big dog Google has their own free in-house competitor for (hosted) OpenX functionality in Google Ad Manager which naturally provides easy serving of Google’s own AdSense ads.

Bigger publishers would probably set their sights higher than either of the above solutions by using Microsoft’s aQuantive products or Google’s DoubleClick. Still the small publisher business is lucrative and not to be disdained – a view that Microsoft only slowly adopted.



Filed under Advertising, Alliances, Coopetition, DoubleClick, Google, MSN, OpenX, aQuantive, adCenter

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August 17, 2009

MSNBC.com acquires local news site, EveryBlock

Posted by David Hunter at 5:05 PM ET.

MSNBC.com (the 50/50 Web partnership of Microsoft and NBC) has acquired "hyperlocal" news aggregation site EveryBlock:

Msnbc.com has acquired EveryBlock, a Chicago-based Web site that offers news and information down to the neighborhood level in 15 cities, the two companies announced Monday.

EveryBlock, which will continue as an independent brand, allows users to type in their address, neighborhood name or ZIP code to view nearby news coverage, blog entries, civic data, photos and dozens of other types of information — all updated throughout the day.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Note that EveryBlock aggregates news from other sources for the 15 major cities that it covers. EveryBlock has only 5 employees and not much traffic so presumably this is a technology and talent acquisition.



Filed under Acquisitions, Alliances, Coopetition, MSNBC.com, Microsoft, NBC

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August 12, 2009

Microsoft and Nokia ally to put Microsoft business products on Nokia phones

Posted by David Hunter at 5:50 PM ET.

Microsoft and Nokia announced today "an alliance that is set to deliver a groundbreaking, enterprise-grade solution for mobile productivity" on Nokia phones.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will begin collaborating immediately on the design, development and marketing of productivity solutions for the mobile professional, bringing Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokia’s Symbian devices. These solutions will be available for a broad range of Nokia smartphones starting with the company’s business-optimized range, Nokia Eseries. The two companies will also market these solutions to businesses, carriers and individuals.

This announcement builds on the existing work Nokia is doing by optimizing access to e-mail and other personal information with Exchange ActiveSync. Next year, Nokia intends to start shipping Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile on its smartphones, followed by other Office applications and related software and services in the future. These will include:

  • The ability to view, edit, create and share Office documents on more devices in more places with mobile-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneNote
  • Enterprise instant messaging and presence, and optimized conferencing and collaboration experience with Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile
  • Mobile access to intranet and extranet portals built on Microsoft SharePoint Server
  • Enterprise device management with Microsoft System Center

Nokia is the leading worldwide provider of smartphones and Microsoft’s own smartphone efforts with Windows Mobile are not sufficient for them to want to shut out Nokia business users in order to maintain an exclusive for their own products.



Filed under Alliances, Coopetition, Microsoft, Nokia, Office, Office Communications Server, Office Mobile, SharePoint Server, System Center, Windows Mobile

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