Microsoft To Go After YouTube With Revver?

    February 22, 2007

Some people would assert that Google launched an assault on Microsoft earlier today; others would just say that the search engine giant launched a paid version of Google Apps. Either way, Microsoft may have a ready response: reports indicate that the company could take aim at YouTube by acquiring Revver, another video-sharing site.

Revver wouldn’t lead the charge against YouTube – that role would fall upon Microsoft’s Soapbox. And that’s probably just as well, considering that all I’m getting from Revver at the moment is an error message (“Timeout Error: Our servers are a little stressed out right now. We’re working on it..! Thanks for your patience.”).

If an acquisition takes place, Revver’s technology would be incorporated into the existing Soapbox site. “MSN was there looking to see whether any of Revver’s technology or staff could be rolled into Soapbox,” a “source familiar with the talks between the companies” told CNET’s Greg Sandoval. Revver’s model of sharing advertising revenue with content creators could be a key draw.

The site may itself be in need of revenue, however – Sandoval points out that it “has fallen out of the top 20 most visited video-sharing sites,” and a number of employees have also abandoned the company in recent months. Microsoft’s unfathomably deep pockets could fix both of those problems.

But Revver’s CEO denied the possibility of an acquisition. “Revver is not for sale,” Steven Starr said in a statement. “We believe we are in the right place at the right time with the right technology, and we continue to focus on enhancing the Revver service and forging new distribution deals.”

Is he playing coy? Perhaps. As Google chips away at the Microsoft Office suite, it wouldn’t be surprising if Microsoft wanted to renew its attack on Google’s YouTube service. Acquiring Revver would be one way of going about that task.

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