Tue, Jul 17th 2007 3:12pm
Last month, a much-hyped partnership between Salesforce.com and Google turned out to be a real snoozer, when it was revealed that the tie-up would simply offer Salesforce.com customers a better way to manage their AdWords campaigns. One aspect of the deal that was troubling was that it belied the myth that all these various web services are so easily mashed up. After all, why should Salesforce.com have to sign a deal with Google to offer AdWords management? Ideally, any company would be able to offer this functionality. Today, Microsoft announced enhancements to its own AdManager service, which allows users to manage advertising campaigns on Microsoft's search. Now, however, customers can buy ads for Live search and for Ask.com. It's really great that Microsoft is taking this big tent approach, acknowledging that there are other search engines out there that customers would like to buy ads on, but it's still missing a couple -- Google and Yahoo come to mind. Ultimately, if it wants AdManager to be a valuable service, then it should allow customers to manage as many different campaigns as they want, through any search engine. This piecemeal approach, allowing customers to buy ads on different Microsoft-approved sites, isn't going to get the company very far in its software plus services strategy.
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