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Category Archives for "Microsoft"

Microsoft Adcenter Labs Tools – Why Bother?

Have you tried the Microsoft Adcenter Labs tools yet? I just played around with them after reading this blog post ‘Microsoft is really trying‘. Want to know what I learned?


First I tried a tool that is so sexily named Detecting Online Commercial Intention. In other words?

Microsoft adCenter can detect your customers’ intention to purchase products or acquire information.

For example, if a customer searches for LCD monitor, it is likely that he or she wants to purchase an LCD monitor; therefore, the online commercial intention is strong, with a confidence level greater than 0.5.

Webpage searches display two levels of commercial intention: informational and transactional.

The Online Commercial Intent (OCI) demo calculates commercial intent on a scale of 0 to 1. Any site whose score is greater than 0.5 is considered to have commercial intent.

However, some websites that have commercial intent might produce a score of less than 0.5. If you feel that this is the case with your website, we encourage you to contact us to help improve our scoring mechanism.

So, does have “commercial intent”? I guess not.


The next tool I tried was one called demographic prediction.

You can use adCenter technology to predict a customer’s age, gender, and other demographic information according to his or her online behavior-that is, from search queries and webpage views. General Distribution is the breakdown by age of MSN Search users-based on a one-month MSN Search log-regardless of search query used. Predicted Distribution is the predicted breakdown by age of MSN Search users for a single search query, based on the adLabs predictive model.

Result for


The keyword group detection tool seemed worthless to me. Why would I use this over other tools?

There are plenty of other tools on the page you might find useful. However, until MS makes a serious push at giving Google a run for their money, I ask you, does it matter what we think of Microsoft search?

Right now, it doesn’t.

Are Roles Reversing? Is Google Turning Into Microsoft?

Robert Scoble cranks off a good rip about the ‘Fear of Google‘.

Yesterday, during his speech at the Forbes shindig I attended, Geoff Ramsey, CEO of eMarketer’s funniest remark was when he told us that the “Fear of Google” was so prevelent that it even had a three-letter acronymn: FOG.

Anyway, I’ve been hearing more and more about FOG all weekend as I talk with advertising and marketing executives from some of the world’s biggest companies.

It’s interesting to watch how this will play out from a branding perspective. In the recent years, Google has been the cool, fun, useful golden-child that the world thinks can do no wrong.

You know, like Microsoft used to be and isn’t anymore?


But wait, are roles reversing? Is Google becoming the big, bad evil empire? And is Microsoft quietly and slowly becoming the underdog?

It could happen. If I was Google, I’d be worried about that momentum/brand perception switch. It could take only one bad public relations situation to trigger this into action.

People love rooting for the underdog, even if it is Bill Gates.

Alternatives To Outlook Express For An Email Super User?

I’m really getting tired of using Outlook Express. Every 100 times I use it I get the dreaded “compact messages” warning on shutdown, and half the time I do it, I lose my sent emails and tons of other email in my inbox. By the way, there’s no way to turn that feature off from what I read.

logo_outlook_express6.gifPlus, you know, it’s just… blah. I want something more robust and pleasant and just nicer, you know?

Email is HUGE to me. It’s 90% of my business-life communication. I get all my news via email from rss to email updates. I get all of my consulting work via email contact (mostly). I am an email super-user.

I love my email, but hate my email tool.

Anyone have any suggestions on what I should switch to? Obviously I’m on a PC, and you should know these things. I have 20+ emails setup, each checking their own account. I also need to be able to send individually from each one, so I can’t just receieve them all in one location and be forced to send from that one single email address.

Oh yeah, last thing, I don’t want a web browser client like Gmail. I prefer to have my email downloaded to my computer in the background while I work. I don’t want to have to be forced to go look for it (refresh), it should just come to me.

What’s an email super user to do? Am I stuck with Outlook Express? Calgon, take me away!

These guys say dump Outlook and go to Eudora. But I used that like 8 years ago, is it really something that I want to try again?

Is this sign #1 that I need to finally really concede I should switch to a Mac this year?