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June 30, 2015

Microsoft Gives Display Ads to AOL, Uber Buys Mapping Technology

Photo by Johannes Hemmerlein

Microsoft is narrowing its focus as evidenced by two deals Monday: one that will see AOL take on the software giant’s display advertising business and one in which Uber will acquire some of the firm’s map-generating technology.

The changes are part of CEO Satya Nadella’s plan to focus on what Microsoft does best and, to do that, he is cutting loose the underperforming parts of the business.

Microsoft’s deal with AOL, a decade-long partnership, will see AOL handle all sell display advertising — video, mobile and desktop — for MSN, Skype, Outlook and Xbox in nine countries. AOL will also offer results from Bing rather than Google as it has in the past.

Microsoft told Reuters the hundreds of employees in its display ad departments would be offered the chance to transfer to AOL.

“Today’s news is evidence of Microsoft’s increased focus on our strengths: in this case, search and search advertising and building great content and consumer services,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Uber’s purchase of Microsoft’s mapping technology, meanwhile, means the software giant will no longer collect mapping imagery.

Instead the company will “continue to partner with premium content and imagery providers for underlying data while concentrating our resources on the core user experience,” Microsoft said in a statement. “With this decision, we will transfer many of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber.”

Neither Microsoft nor Uber have released the financial details for the deal, but the online taxi service said about 100 of the Redmond company’s employess would join its team.

Uber has always partnered with Google Maps for the operation of its online taxi service, but reportedly wants to be a little more independent of the technology titan. Buying Microsoft’s mapping technology is a step toward that goal. It has also been rumored that Uber submitted a mammoth $3-billion bid for Here, Nokia’s mapping service.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.