Microsoft's Nadella On Why The Future Is All About Cloud; Buyers Are Into TikTok's Self-Serve Ad Platform

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The Not-So-New Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, speaking at a private media event last week, explained how the trillion-dollar company plans to keep up with the evolution of enterprise and consumer tech – and why that doesn’t mean giving up on legacy businesses. “What do you think is the biggest hardware business at Microsoft?” Nadella asked, turning the mic on the reporters. Xbox? Surface tablets? “No, it’s our cloud,” he said. The distinctions between Microsoft’s business lines are more important for outside observers than for Microsoft itself, writes The Verge. The same engineering teams might handle Surface hardware lines, the Edge browser tech and Azure cloud products. Microsoft’s new products will be built around existing scaled customer bases, such as Windows, but won’t necessarily supplant them, Nadella said. “If anything, what people have come to realize is that Windows is there with a billion users, iOS is there with a billion users and Android is there with 2 billion users. It’s not like one killed the other.” More.

Self-Serve TikTok

Advertisers are pleased with the progress TikTok is making on its self-serve ad platform, but there’s still more work to be done. While buyers say the platform is easy to use and helps raise brand awareness, it lacks targeting capabilities, APIs and the reporting mechanisms available on more mature platforms, Digiday reports. Agencies and brands gripe that it’s difficult to drive performance and track conversions without these capabilities. As with most social platforms, native and influencer-driven content drives the most engagement on TikTok, but bounce rates are high. “There will be a lot of brands that will hesitate because they don’t know how to use it and it’s not as trackable,” said Asher Chester, Agency Within’s director of performance marketing. More.

The Double-Edged Sabre

Google Cloud has signed a 10-year deal with Sabre, a travel industry software provider. All eyes are on the Google Cloud business, which for the last five years has languished behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure. But Google’s top brass expect to pass at least one of its main rivals by 2023 – otherwise, funding for the unit will dwindle, The Information reported last month. The deal with Sabre doesn’t tip the scales, but it shows how Google is making inroads with large brands on the strength of its strong consumer-facing businesses, even if advertising isn’t part of the contract. Sabre’s deal with Google isn’t just about bandwidth and server storage, though. Google will help Sabre develop and innovate on products for clients. “Historically, when people look at cloud, they see it purely as about cost efficiency,” Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO, tells Bloomberg. “It’s also about giving people better insights for their business.” And, sometimes, Google’s ad business, and its user data, is directly tied to cloud adoption. Ads Data Hub, where Google’s ad server data will be housed, is a Google Cloud product – aka, not part of the marketing stack – and thus requires an account seat in order to use it.

But Wait, There’s More

You’re Hired

 

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