Microsoft on Facebook: The internal memo from Kevin Johnson

The president of the software giant's platform and services division sends an e-mail to all Microsofties explaining why the Facebook stake was such a coup.

Microsoft just bought a small stake in Facebook for $240 million (more than Facebook's 2006 revenues, which is interesting) on a $15 billion valuation. Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft's Platform and Services Division, sent this e-mail to all Microsofties explaining why this was such a coup:

From: Steve Ballmer [Email excised]
Sent: 25 October 2007 02:28
To: Kevin Johnson; Microsoft - All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: RE: Facebook Partnership

Great job you really pulled this together unbelievably


From: Kevin Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 2:04 PM
To: Microsoft - All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: Facebook Partnership

Today, we announced a global expansion of our advertising syndication partnership with Facebook.

This deal is a major advertising syndication win for Microsoft and an enormous vote of confidence from our largest advertising partner. As we continue to grow our share of the global online advertising opportunity - currently worth $40 billion and growing rapidly - increasing the volume of advertising on our platform through partnerships like this is key to our success.

Today, we also announced an equity investment in Facebook which represents the depth of the partnership between the two companies.

Today's announcement is significant for a number of reasons:

  • For advertisers, this advertising deal expands Microsoft's ability to deliver a one-stop shop that reaches users globally through Microsoft's platform and sales force.

  • For publishers, it is further evidence of Microsoft's commitment to long-term innovation and partnerships in advertising. We look for win-win situations like this with our syndication partners.

  • For Microsoft, today's announcement represents a step forward in our long-term commitment to lead in digital advertising. This builds on momentum we've already experienced with Facebook and other publishers such as Digg and Piczo. It also builds on the advertising platform investments we have been making organically and through acquisitions including aQuantive, adECN, ScreenTonic, Massive, and others.

I'd like to thank the everyone who is helping to building our advertising business.

It is the momentum you have created that leads to partnership wins like this one. Being the best advertising platform and partner for users, advertisers, and publishers is key to our future.

Let's keep up the great momentum!

Regards,


Kevin Johnson l President Microsoft Platforms & Services Division

It's a great coup for Microsoft, though I admit I still don't know what to do with Facebook. Maybe if Microsoft integrates it with its Outlook/Exchange solution, it would be useful to more people who collaborate over e-mail/IM, and not a Web site.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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