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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 10, 2008 at 10:32 AM

Microsoft radar: Murdoch not fighting Microsoft; user data methodology; Ozzie speaks

News Corp. is not going to battle Microsoft for Yahoo, Rupert Murdoch told investors this morning. From Reuters: “We’re not going to get into a fight with Microsoft, which has a lot more money than us,” Murdoch said at a Bear Stearns media conference.

An interesting footnote on the methodology behind Louise Story’s piece today on the amount of data being gathered on us by media companies. The New York Times paid comScore to tally this data. comScore tracked five types of “data collection events,” such as videos served or searches entered.

The New York Times paid comScore to tally this data. comScore tracked five types of “data collection events,” such as videos served or searches entered.

In December, Yahoo could gather data from 400 billion events in the month. Time Warner, including AOL, could access 100 billion events. Google, 91 billion.

“Interestingly, Microsoft, with 51 billion events in December is far behind not only the other big Internet companies, but also the News Corporation’s Fox Interactive Media, which owns MySpace,” Story writes.

That puts the Yahoo bid in a new context. Story notes, “If Yahoo is to merge with Microsoft or any company, the merged company will be an entity that has significantly more data about consumers.” We looked at that very issue in an article by Kristi Heim, Feb. 25.

She adds caveats about the data collection events that were left out of the comScore analysis, such as information volunteered by users when setting up an email account.

Speaking of the Yahoo bid — and the integration of the two companies afterward — the Financial Times scored an interview with Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, which it published Sunday. The big takeaway: Don’t rush the integration. “Technology companies, if they dive in and just smash things together for smashing them together’s sake, it’s reckless, it’s just simply reckless,” he said.

Om Malik also got some time with Ozzie and posted a transcript of their Q&A. Interesting reading.

Quote of the day: “In this world, dumb and fast rules.” Dave Campbell, a technical fellow in Microsoft’s SQL Server division, passed that nugget on to CNET’s Ina Fried as he explained Microsoft’s database-in-the-cloud plans at Mix in Las Vegas last week. Fried and others think Microsoft’s plan to move parts of SQL Server to an online service was the sleeper announcement of the event. As Fried explained, moving software meant to run reliable servers and storage to a commodity service is a challenge, but that’s also the opportunity. Hence Campbell’s quote. From the initial details, it looks like this service would compete with Amazon’s SimpleDB, which is still in a limited beta.

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