Did the $200 million investment made by Microsoft in 1996 to form MSNBC with the National Broadcasting Company turn out to be a MS-step? Did the child grow up to be “MS-behaved” at age 16? Or, is it simply time for Microsoft to self-actualize its own news-worthy identity in mid-life adulthood?
“Being limited to MSNBC.com content was problematic to us because we couldn’t have the multiple news sources and the multiple perspectives that our users were telling us that they wanted,” said Bob Visse, general manager of MSN.com
Multiple sources sound good. So it is somewhat surprising that Microsoft is preparing to launch its own news service this fall instead of adopting a pan-optical, portal strategy, like, say Google News. Although Visse declined to provide many details about the operation, a news MSN News team is predicted to be about the same size as the roughly 100 people who created original content for the MSNBC.com.
Give Redmond credit for straddling both sides of computer and political science. It founded Slate magazine with the help of founding editor Michael Kinsley back in 1995. In 2002, Kinsley married Patty Stonesifer, who is created as the person responsible for the former Microsoft news portion of the MSNBC merger. Stonesifer served as chief executive officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for eleven years.
MSNBC.com and its affiliated sites ranked as the Internet’s fourth most popular site for general news in the U.S., with nearly 50 million visitors in June, up 5 percent from last year, according to the research firm comScore Inc. Yahoo’s recently formed alliance with ABC News topped the charts with 81 million visitors, followed by AOL/Huffington Post, and CNN.
MSNBC.com will be rebranded as NBCNews.com, and readers who logged into MSNBC.com late Sunday were automatically redirected to NBCNews.com. The NBC website admin will move its headquarters from Microsoft’s corporate campus in Redmond, Wash., to NBC News’ longtime home in New York. Although it will be based in New York, NBCNews.com will retain a significant staff in the Seattle area. About 170 of MSNBC.com’s 300 employees worked in the Seattle area. Microsoft is letting NBCNews.com remain in its Redmond office while it looks for a new location in the area.
Fox News took the opportunity to politicize the realignment, correlating statements made about the decision to tap added news sources with Microsoft’s alleged interest in right-wing politics. “[Microsoft's] exasperation was exacerbated by the MSNBC cable channel’s strategy to counter Fox News Channel’s appeal to conservative viewers by tailoring its programming for an audience with a liberal viewpoint. The strategy fed a perception that material from MSNBC’s website was politically slanted, too,” reported Fox News. No such position has been enunicated by Microsoft and at no time did MSNBC management dictate editorial “talking points” unlike Fox News infamy for positons and practices that have long impugned its journalistic objectivity.
Rev. Robert Ballecer, show host for the new “Enterprise Computing” show on the TWIT Webcasting Network, says a fledgling Microsoft news team may create a lot of bad content, but they may create a few gems in the process. ”They don’t want to set up a bunch of content deals. They want something of their own. ”
What can we expect from the new MSN News Bureau? Perhaps, its independence from media properties like Slate and NBC will provide fascinating insight into how the company interprets the events of the day. [24x7]
Office 365 Beta Meets New Markets for Home Use, Cloud Use, Skype Usage amd SkyDrive/Sharepoint Integration
The Public Preview for the Flagship Office product suite, both the enterprise server and the client versions, is Windows 8 Touch compatible and plays up the new Metro style look and feel. Office 15 is said to work on Windows 7 and 8 but Windows XP may be a non-starter.
The upgraded changes are more incremental than wholesale but, in some instances, represent a major departure. For instance, docs can be saved automatically to SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage system that synchronizes files between workstations.
Brian Chee, Director of ANCl, points out that where SkyDrive storage takes place geographically can be a security issue for file ownership and copyright. For example, cloud storage in overseas servers can create those questions.
An “Office Next” Blog has already gone live and is reachable via http://blogs.office.com/ [24x7]
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About the Author (Author Profile)
Larry Sivitz is founder, publisher and managing editor of Seattle24x7, the founder of SearchWrite Search Marketing, an SEO, PPC and Social Media Thought Leader, and an SPJ award winner for Seattle magazine.