Microsoft announced some big news today - they're entering the advertising game. Not surprising, given that controlling the monetization infrastructure for advertising is going to be a key choke point in the online media economy. There were already mostly there with their own sales force, etc. - this just cuts out the middle men (*cough* Yahoo *cough*) and illuminates the strategy behind some other moves on their part.
As an aside, talking with some friends today, this news hilighted a funny brand halo effect: when Microsoft grossly modifies the economics of a technology sector, everyone frowns and yells "Monopoly!" (even when they're following), and yet when Google does it, folks stumble over themselves to fawn with "Disruption!"
I'm not sure I see the difference... ah, well, I guess its just good to be the king.