Microsoft has publicly disclosed plans to release a new music and entertainment player and accompanying software under the “Zune” brand this year, in an effort to compete with Apple’s iPod, Reuters reports.
Zune is expected to be on store shelves in time for Christmas as previously expected, the Reuters story confirms. Microsoft will also “try to replicate Apple’s simple approach to providing an integrated, seamless ecosystem for digital media,” Reuters says. [24×7]
Seattle24x7 Top 40 Announced
Seattle’s hottest weeks of the year are the perfect time to inaugurate our annual hotlist of the Top 40 Websites originating in the Puget Sound. Our Seattle24x7 Top 40 index ranks the region’s Websites by total site traffic based on three months of aggregated historical data from Alexa Data Services measuring millions of Alexa Toolbar users (the Web’s largest “Nielsen family”).
As the results make clear, the Puget Sound represents a disproportionately large number of the Web’s most visited Internet properties. Our regional Web prowess, vested within a 30-mile radius of the Space Needle, surpasses most other cities in powering Internet content and services, and in so many ways. From Microsoft’s leadership in the software realm to e-commerce standard bearers like Amazon and transformed Northwest icons like Nordstrom, REI and Eddie Bauer, to new household names like WhitePages, Classmates, and Expedia, search entities like InfoSpace and Dogpile, image powerhouses like Getty and Corbis, and hubs for online gaming and multimedia distribution, the Seattle24x7 Top 40 is proof positive why the arrow of your computer cursor always points to the Northwest. [24×7]
Atlas Study: Display Ad Exposure Boosts Search Conversion
A new study from Seattle’s Atlas Institute proves what many marketers have intuitively known: Running display ads can help improve the results of a concurrent search campaign.
The study, which looked at 11 direct response advertisers, found a 22 percent lift in conversions when users were exposed to both search and display ads from the same advertiser, compared to being exposed solely to a search ad. A lift of 20 to 65 percent was seen in eight of the 11 advertisers.
The study examined the behavior of 1.8 million users during April 2006 and found a 44 percent overlap of users seeing both search and display ads from the same advertiser, so the effect is significant enough that marketers should be paying attention to it, stated Esco Strong, research analyst at Atlas. [24×7]
Rona Zevin to Retire; Leaves Seattle a Digital Legacy
Rona Zevin, director of the Office of Electronic Communications, is retiring from the City of Seattle after 30 years of service. Rona has been responsible for overseeing the development of seattle.gov from a bulletin board service to an international award-winning Website. Rona helped establish the City’s Community Technology Program and the Technology Matching Fund. She also led the evolution of the City television channel from a limited meeting coverage channel to a diversely programmed democracy portal, now known as the SeattleChannel.
In a related newsbyte, to read the Report of the Seattle Task Force on Telecommunications Innovation entitled How the City of Seattle Can Promote Development of an Advanced Communications Network, visit
Zillow Teams with Yahoo! Real Estate to Provide Easy Access to Home Values
Consumers can now quickly get home values for most homes in the U.S. by going to Yahoo! Search and searching for “home values.” A Yahoo! Shortcut allows users to enter a U.S. address that takes them directly to a Yahoo! Real Estate page powered by Zillow’s estimated home values, along with local comparables and historical price trends from Zillow.com. [24×7]