Microsoft is playing catch-up again. The company let Google grow into a behemoth under its nose while it ignored search. The same could be happening again with the emerging ad-tech infrastructure that enables programmatic buying.
This week, Microsoft trumpeted the launch of a demand-side-platform channel via its Atlas Solutions unit. The plan is a bunch of technology partnerships with independent DSPs AppNexus, Turn and MediaMath. This tip-toe approach stands in stark contrast to the all-in effort spearheaded by rival Google, which scooped up DSP Invite Media early on, in June 2010, and shelled out $400 for supply-side platform Admeld exactly a year later. (The latter acquisition is still pending regulatory approval.)
There are growing grumbles in the industry that Microsoft, which has the resources to be a major counterweight to Google, isn’t moving aggressively enough to do so.
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