Rick Song, senior director, eastern US sales for Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), opened the company’s Digital Showcase — think of it as its upfront for broadband — seemed a bit taken aback that the small audience that gathered in a conference room at the Parker Meridien Hotel didn’t respond overwhelmingly when he asked how many are watching more online video. Perhaps a roomful of media execs and reporters are not a representative demo. In any case, Song offered a survey of the growth of Hulu, YouTube, as well as its work with NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) on the Digital Olympics, to demonstrate the leaps professional online video has made. “It really isn’t about the dog on the skateboard anymore.”
— New windows: Keith Lorizio, VP, ad sales, was up next. His main pitch was that while some of its competitors were still mostly tech or about the internet, Microsoft is all about being “everywhere, anytime,” something that has become a familiar line by those same rivals Here’s Lorizio’s case: “We reach 32 million users on the PC. That’s 40 percent more consumers than American Idol reaches. We expect to build up our reach to the mobile audience as well. With our recent acquisition of [TV ad placement firm] Navic, we now have better reach to TV. Microsoft currently has 1 billion experiences with consumers across the globe. As it moves from a software company to a media company, new windows are opening for Microsoft — windows that we could never open. It’s unavoidable that we’ll continue to be viewed as a software tech company. But our content is second to none.” But aside from the content, why should advertisers pay attention to Microsoft? “Our users are 30 percent more likely to make purchases than our competitors.” Scott Moore, executive producer & GM of MSN is up next.