MSFT Analyst Day: Execs Talk Online Advertising; Entertainment; M&A

We can’t be everywhere. Luckily, Barron’s Eric Savitz made his way to Redmond where he blogged the heck out of the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) annual analyst day. Microsoft set the table with the usual rush of announcements large and small, including the acquisition of ad exchange AdECN, an ad deal with Digg, a deal between in-game ad net Massive and EA. Some pertinent highlights:

Kevin Johnson, president, Platforms and Services Division, on advertising: “He notes that they have made some big bets; made big bet organically on AdCenter; also made big bet on aQuantive. More on aQuantive, which includes Avenue A and Razorfish, biggest online ad agencies. Did they overpay, he asks rhetorically? It is a big opportunity; billions of economic value will be created; it was competitive situation, with two other bidders; we were delighted to have one that competitive bid; expect to close by mid-August; we are well on the way to driving integration…”

— Online ad revenue grew Q1