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Microsoft: Our Online Branding Needs Work

MSN, Live, who can keep track, part two

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Ahead of Microsoft’s advance08 Advertising Leadership Forum, Microsoft’s Kevin Johnson acknowledged to company employees, among other things, that Microsoft’s online branding could be a lot better.

Confusing, muddled, inconsistent, and other synonyms fit nicely when describing Microsoft’s online strategy. Ever since the company launched the Windows Live brand for its new Internet initiatives, the presence of Microsoft’s long-running MSN brand proved a challenge for establishing Live in the minds of Internet users.

The situation needs to change, as Johnson noted in an email to employees that also made its way to a few places online, like All Things D. His Sunday email served as an update to Microsoft’s online services strategy, of which branding represents a piece.

“Our brands are fragmented and confusing today, and we recognize a need to clarify and align our online branding,” said Johnson. “We are now driving forward to address this opportunity.”

More of the Microsoft strategy should become known this week, as it pertains to search, Johnson said:

On Wednesday, we will be announcing a major new initiative that our search teams have been driving. We are getting better and better with our core algorithmic search, and at the same time, we are investing to differentiate in vertical experiences and to disrupt the current model.

Johnson also talked about acquisitions, like recent Microsoft buys of Rapt and YaData. He also mentioned the earlier announcement about Microsoft’s new talks with Yahoo, though he didn’t add anything beyond the original statement.

Microsoft: Our Online Branding Needs Work
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