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Microsoft Windows Surface

"Judge us by our actions" asks Frank Holland, corporate VP of Microsoft Advertising & Online following Windows 8 and Surface release


By Stephen Lepitak, -

November 15, 2012 | 5 min read

“Judge us by our actions,” says Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Microsoft Advertising & Online, suggesting the launch of several new projects shows a more integrated way of use.

Speaking at the Monaco Media Forum, Holland discussed the recent evolution of the company, with the release of Windows 8 and its Surface Tablet alongside a number of other releases all taking place at the same time last month.

“If I was to say we’re all in - we are. If you think those are just words, you should look at the entire package,” he continued. “Based on the uptake that we’ve seen, not only on across Windows Live, Messenger, but also Skype and Xbox – people should judge us by our parts. You can see from the services that we’re lining up that they are great services for advertisers.”

Holland later stated that Microsoft was thinking about consumer services that “were so compelling” that he believed that people would want to use its products individually due to their own individual strengths.

Asked about the resignation this week of Microsoft’s president of the Windows Group, Steven Sinofsky, Holland wouldn’t be drawn to say much, other than describing him as “as great leader” over the 23 years he worked at Microsoft.

“The timing was obviously something that he had put a lot of thought into. With the launch of the operating system. I can tell you that the people taking over from Steven are terrific both Tami Reller and Julie [Larson-Green] both on the technical side and the business side, they are people that will take us into the future,” he added.

He then declined to comment on whether the departure would lead to a change in direction for Microsoft.

Asked about the controversial decision to add the 'do not follow' function to IE 10, Holland offered three points of view; "the first is that we have to do better," he said.

"As an industry we have not done a good job of defining what it means to respect the signal when the users asks us not to follow them around the internet. Secondly, consumers are saying the same thing – they are saying; ‘if I said to you, please respect the privacy settings that I have put in place, please make sure that it’s easy to designate. I don’t want to be followed around.' Thirdly, from an advertising experience, nothing can be less interesting than showing people content that doesn’t really register. That is why contextual and why ‘Beautiful, useful and relevant’ makes so much sense for advertisers. That is the early indication that we’ve gotten from a number of our advertising partners. We want to take the lead in many respects…and we want to do it because we’re not just an advertising company, we’re also a publishing company with a certain amount of accountability."

Later, when asked about how Bing would change with the continued development of social, he responded; “I find it so interesting that we as an industry have allowed the definition of ‘social’ to become equal to posts…they’re not real-time and I think of social as being real-time…with both Skype and Xbox live, the interaction is real-time, I’m talking to right you…and the way a brand might want to get involved with that conversation is really intimate. That’s social…I think that we have to take social 1.0 and evolve it into real-time.”

“Bing is not simply a search engine in the classic sense, it’s an integral part of our platform,” he said of the search tool, which he explained could be integrated with Xbox games to intuitively find interests of its user.

Of Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia, which was revealed yesterday (14 November) to have slipped to become the seventh biggest Smartphone developer in the world according to analysts at Gartner, Holland explained: “We have collectively with Nokia made a big bet on reinventing how people use their phones and what you’ll see with Windows Phone 8 is that we’ve created a much more integrated way of being operated by users...we’re both in this together and we continue to find ways that we continue to do more and more.

“Yes, Nokia’s market place has slipped. Ours has as well, and we’re rebuilding it together,” he concluded.

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