Saturday, October 25, 2008

Microsoft’s Online Unit Shows Encouraging Signs of Growth -

Interesting times

Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) advertising-supported online unit showed encouraging signs of life in the third quarter, a performance that suggests the business is starting to attract advertisers concerned about the strength of giant Google Inc. (GOOG)

Thursday, Microsoft said growing interest among users and advertisers enabled it to post a quick 15% rise in third-quarter online ad revenues to $557 million. The surprising development, largely overshadowed by the company's lowered guidance and weakness in its core software unit, came despite challenges for the online advertising market, which is being squeezed by a weakening economy.

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