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On the subject of Industry News


January 14th, 2010.

Don’t forget to follow up

As much effort needs to be put into offline follow-up as your website itself. You are the main event of your website, and whether or not you follow up enquiries is a huge reflection on your organisation as a whole.

Check out this whole comic from The Brads
Check out this comic from The Brads

I like to use a website contact form because they’re quick and easy. It’s not always convienient to pick up the phone, especially when you may be on hold for half an hour.

Lately I have had a couple of enquiries for Camden City Council. Although I get an instant confirmation email (from it includes a disclaimer reading “If you do not hear directly from the team involved within 10 working days you may contact the Central Complaints unit direct on….
If it was suitable for me to call them then I would have in the first place, but for whatever reason I have chosen to email them, and it’s not unreasonable to expect a reply. I still have not had a proper response from them about my enquiries.

Likewise, an enquiry to Traid for some photos following a revamp event I attended fell on deaf ears – I didn’t even get an aknowledgement.

These are just 2 examples; unanswered enquiries happen all the time. It’s so common that you’re probably thinking “Well that’s what you get from filling in an enquiry form.”

But I have huge faith in websites, and I know encouraging contact is the main goal of many sites – so why is this rudeness acceptable and website enquiries go ignored?

Janey at Basically Black is an example of how to do offline follow-through well. We recently did a survey of her customers and almost everyone said how friendly and helpful she had been with choosing sizes, placing orders and managing returns.

It’s no surprise she’s seeing a lot of repeat customers and verbal recommendations – and it’s a shame others are missing the trick.


May 21st, 2009.

SMX London Roundup – More News, Tips, Tricks, Tools And Links

smxlogoAs I mentioned yesterday, we have just returned from the  recent SMX London search marketing conference. Below is our roundup of the best hints, tips and links that we picked up over the two days.

There are also some fantastic posts over at SEOptimise and Distilled that are well worth a read.

The State Of The Search Industry

  • The search industry must focus more on, analytics, holistic search and education for senior management. Cooperation between companies is required in order to grow the industry.
  • During the keynote, Brian Fetherstonhaugh from Ogilvy One pointed out that although search marketing is seen as the holy grail of marketing by the top 1000 CEOs, this still only occupies around a 1.5% mindshare. Search marketers should focus on how search can ad value to existing advertising mediums and can be sold as a research tool.
  • The US has a greater buy-in from senior management. This could be due to an increased understanding/awareness of the technology, or better and more organised education.
  • Integrated search is set to be a huge growth area, both in the form of integrated digital campaigns (SEO, PPC, Digital PR) and also increased synergy between online and offline PR.
  • 46% of respondents to the Guava/E-Consultancy Research were spending a minimum of £10,000 p/a on SEO.
  • 32% are spending a minimum of £100,000 on paid search.
  • 55% of companies predict an increase in SEO spending despite current economic conditions.
  • SEMPO research indicates a shift from paid search back into natural search.
  • SEO is increasingly being used for branding as well as direct response advertising being driven by an increase in local, video and news results visibility.

Keyword Research Tips And Advice

  • Download the Microsoft adCenter Excel Add-In for keyword research. This will help to quickly build keyword lists and give additional demographic information.
  • Don’t just use traditional tools for keyword research. Initial brainstorming with client sales teams is usually an untapped resource for potential keywords, as well as looking at internal site search queries.
  • The credit-crunch has altered search behaviour. Consumers are searching more, researching more but buying less.
  • There has been a 3-fold increase in informational and a fall in navigational search queries. Less brand searches, more price-led queries.
  • Optimise category pages for plural search keywords, product pages for the singular.
  • Use Google Trends to find and keep ahead of topical search terms in your industry.


  • Wordle is a great tool for finding which keywords a site/page has been optimised for.
  • Using a keyword query you can find the most important pages on your site for a specific keyword.
  • Mis-spellings can be targeted using a glossary or a ‘similar searches’ widget.

Link Building

  • Before releasing online PR/link bait you must understand the reasons that people link to pages. If your content doesn’t encourage people to link in some way, then it isn’t linkbait.
  • A successful linkbait article has an average of 2.7 seconds to grab a bloggers attention. The solution to retaining this attention? A Great Headline. These great headlines should be continued into the subject of the text, and should also be continued into the headlines of whichever social media distribution channel you choose (Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon etc).
  • Websites Don’t Link to Websites- People link to other people’s work. To improve the response from your linkbait, look into the mindset of the blogger reading your piece- why would you link to it if it was your blog?
  • Discussion sparking content – Create content that can spark controversial discussions. Not everyone in your industry will always have the same view, and providing content that sparks such discussions allows readers to get involved in the discussion. Invite other bloggers to get involved in the conversation (subconsciously inviting the blogger to link to the discussion and make a comment on the discussion on their own blog).
  • Actively promote your own content. Build a directory of targets and inform them when you publish linkable content to increase the take-up rate.
  • Link your articles with current affairs, topical news stories, or hot topics in your industry to increase the chances of publication.
  • Link building is very much dependant on the kind of website you’re working on. Big brands can get away with a far lower link quality than smaller companies and brands.
  • Analise the current inbound links- Big brands should have a range of authoritive links, meaning less authoritive links with optimised anchor texts can help when optimising for a particular phrase.
  • Install ‘Links From Images’ Plugin on WordPress. People still hotlink images… why not provide them with the HTML code and include a link back to the page the image.
  • Where possible, remove all social media buttons (‘tweet this’ buttons etc) on linkbait articles- remove the option for visitors to share the content on other networks to encourage linking to the article instead.
  • Six degrees of seperation works online… target the bigger sites in the industry that the smaller bloggers will read to get links from both the bigger and smaller blogs (and scraper sites!)
  • Build a Promotion Network-
    1. Research sites in the industry and see what they link to
    2. Create an email list
    3. Create the linkbait article
    4. Social media promotion- this is mainly for show- the more powerful links will come from the bloggers you email directly
    5. Send a personal email to the bloggers on your email list informing them of the post ahead of the buzz
    6. Watch the links come in
    7. Show gratification- thank the bloggers and show gratification (Tweet/Stumble/Digg their post in return)

Social Media

  • Social media is now sending significant amounts of traffic to many sites, for the right industries/demographics it’s crazy to ignore it.
  • Utilising Facebook connect and the Twitter API is an excellent way of encouraging your visitors to interact on social sites and linking that interaction with your brand.
  • Use the RIOT principal – Relevant Interaction = Optimised Traffic – Massimo Burgio
  • Bear in mind the 4 P’s of social media – Passion, Proactively, Perseverance and Patience
  • Twitter may well become more important in the search engine world as it starts to index the content of links in tweets and starts to rank these.

Reputation Management

  • There are several basic strategies for dealing with negative listings in the search results. 1) Legal action 2) Purchasing the offending site 3) Organic strategies to push other listing above it 4) Paid listings to argue your case/divert attention5) Hacking – not recommended!
  • Resort to legal action only if sure of your legal footing and as a last resort. It’s very easy for aggressive tactic to blow-up in your face.
  • Sometimes authority domains that have negative listings may also contain positive pages that can easily be used to replace the negatives.
  • Reputation management shouldn’t just be thought of in crisis situations. Effectively monitoring and managing online reputation before a crisis occurs can save time and money later.
  • Bear in mind that if people want to look hard enough for negative stories and articles, they will find them.


  • SEO is not a ‘free’ medium – everything has an ROI that should be measured.
  • When monitoring the performance/conversions of large groups of keywords, separate them out into groups for more manageable analysis – Top 10, Top 100, Top 1,000 and 1,000+
  • Brand engagement can easily be worked out using BE = #brand searches + #direct visits / #search visits + # direct visits
  • Another metric worth measuring is the % of pages yielding search traffic. Consider replacing or amending under-performing pages.
  • Link building counts are a metric that people should be using. The most accurate tools for tracking this are Linkscape and Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Use the 2nd page traffic filter to spot keywords sending you traffic from the second page of search results. Pushing these phrases onto the first page are your low-hanging fruit.
  • Use multi-touch tracking to find the initial referrer for a sale rather than the final one. Often a sale initially comes from a long tail search query, then possibly a branded search or PPC ad which then incorrectly gets the credit for the sale.

Digital PR

  • Get Known- build a brand, attend conferences, seminars and other industry engagements. Comment in forums and become a noticed resource.
  • Build a Platform- Speaking slots, interviews, trade shows. Announce your presence at these industry events ahead of time
  • Find industry news and get on it

Presentations/Write-Ups Currently Available Online

Dean Chew – What’s New With Social Media?
Lyndon Antcliff – Smash A Brick In The Face Link Building
Richard Gregory – The Latest Stats About The Search Engines
Patrick Altoft – Blow Your Mind Link Building Techniques
Ciaran Norris – Old Or New? The Future Of Media
Will Critchlow- Analytics Every SEO Needs to Know
Lucy Langdon- What’s New With Social Media?
Rich Cotton- Paid Search & Tricky Issues
Rob Ousbey- Brand & Reputation Management Strategies
Guy Levine- Writing Killer Search Ads
Massimo Burgio – What’s New With Social Media Marketing?
Richard Baxter – Diagnosing Website Architecture Issues
Richard Gregory – Paid Search And Tricky Issues
Nick Abramovic – Multivariate Testing

Anything I have missed? Let me know :)


April 20th, 2009.

Why Twitter Is A Search Engine – And It’s Better Than Google

A bold statement to make maybe, and a few months ago I would have laughed at anyone making such a claim, but over the past few weeks and months Twitter has evolved into something unique that Google, and indeed no other search engine has managed to achieve.

Lets get one thing straight – Google is still the search engine to beat when it comes to archiving vast quantities of historical information and giving users a simple interface to retrieve this stored data. If you want to find expert reviews of that new LCD TV that you’re thinking of buying, research your homework, find that website that you can’t quite remember the URL of, look for a good cheesecake recipe, and whole host of other search query types, then Google is your first port of call.

However, where Twitter is coming into its own is enabling its users to get real-time access to information from real people.

Three main factors have contributed to Twitters strength in this area and will act as barriers to entry for others,

1. Twitter turns users into publishers – on Twitter people are the key. Everyone using the service is a publisher. Posting information, ideas and facts that effect and relate to them.

2. Achieved a critical mass – over the past few months the enormous growth of the Twitter user base means that with the huge amount of information being published every day by a massive number of users now increase the chances are that someone will have posted on the subject you’re looking for, and if needed you can even contact them directly.

3. Mobility – The concise nature of the service means that it is one of the first web services that is truly suited to use away from the computer and gives people the ability to post and access information on the go.

One of the first examples that brought home the power of the service to me personally was when travelling through London a couple of weeks ago only to experience the usual travel chaos.  A quick Twitter search on my phone revealed that depressingly there had been a fatality, and the station was unlikely to reopen for some time. With the use of Twitter I was even able to meet up at a bar with some friends who were also stuck in the area, and we then got updated via a Twitter travel service when the station had reopened.

Twitter isn’t just suited to turning miserable Friday evening travel chaos into drinking sessions. Even the major news outlets are waking up to realise the power of the service. During the G20 protests in London, Sky News, who were the first to announce a dedicated Twitter correspondent, dispatched three ‘Twitter reporters’ into the area who were tasked with reporting up to the minute news via their Tweets and the use of Twitpic for images. While following the progress of the events on both TV and the major news corporations websites, I increasingly found that is was Twitter search that was providing information far in advance and in many cases in more detail than was being provided though traditional sources.

It’s not just real-time national and local news where Twitter gives access to information that other search engines don’t. It’s also a great resource for “real peoples” product and service experiences. People are now far more likely to Tweet about their opinions on purchases than they are to blog about them or add their views to a reviews website. Consumer electronics, airlines, hotels and internet services companies have all been on the good and bad side of Twitter publicity. An added dimension is given by the ability for these companies to contact their users directly.

With user growth and usage being directly proportional to the volume of information continued growth can only mean increasing the services usefulness as a search engine.
Mainstream media has been among the first industries to wake-up to the potential of Twitter, and on the whole have embraced it as an additional news channel.
So what is next for Twitter? I can see their real-time search results taking on additional dimensions, perhaps some form of relevance ranking, additional sorting options and further integration to tie it more securely to the service. Monetisation of these search results is probably not too far away


January 12th, 2009.

Online is a recession free zone

Apparently there is a recession.

The media will have it that the world is in meltdown and that it’s armageddon out there. 

Woolies, MFI and Adams have gone to the wall.  Well honestly, I am not surprised.  Woolworths and MFI were awful businesses stuck in a time warp and deserved to die.  They were slothful and easily out done by more dynamic competitors.  MFI have done nothing in the last 20 years to dispel their brand image of producing low quality, dated furniture.   Woolworths were kidding themselves if they thought that people actually enjoyed entering their shops.  They may have been cheap but even the bargain hunters appreciate clean, well presented shops.  I never went into Adams but they looked pretty dated even though they were relatively new.

Other companies are retracting as well.  Marks and Spencer are closing some food halls but so what.  They had over expanded in the good times.  The fact that they are closing a few poorly performing shops isn’t the death knell.  It’s just a little tightening following a gluttonous expansion.  And maybe it means that the consumer, who is a little more careful these days would prefer not to pay an excessive premium for near identical products being sold next door. 

The care free spending attitude has changed and retailers need to adapt, but it doesn’t mean that people won’t spend money if the product is well priced and well presented.

This all reminds me of a previous hullabaloo in 2000 when the .com bubble burst.  The world’s press then tried to write off the whole Internet as a busted flush, when in fact there were many businesses doing very nicely online thank you.  It was only the news grabbers who had borrowed millions to set up spurious, hubristic .com world beating websites that failed to succeed.  They were poorly thought out businesses and poorly executed.  They too deserved to die.  There were many smaller, prudent businesses making a decent return throughout this period.

So, as before and as now there may be some troubled waters but there is no reason for retailers to panic. (Though for bricks and mortar businesses, they need to renegotiate their exorbitant rents with their landlords).  This is especially true online.  People still have money and they would prefer to spend it online. Anecdotal and personal experience shows that online sales on most websites are growing.  Latest sales figures from those retailers that have reported on Christmas sales also supports this:

John Lewis – online sales up by 27%
House of Fraser – online sales increase of 150%  (1.7 million visitors over Christmas period)
M&S – online sales up by 29% (although down 7.1% overall)
Ocado – up 97%
Sainsburys – online sales up 27%
Thorntons – online sales up 25%
Next Direct – up 1.1% increase since last year
Aldi visitor traffic up 64% year on year Sales up 20%

Our own clients at Datadial have also reported record online sales. 

The big question for these retailers is how to return to charging full value for their products and services and to get away from the omni present discounting.  This is the subject of my following blog.


November 17th, 2008.

The Online Spend Disconnect – PPC And SEO

An interesting post over at SEOMoz highlights the spending disconnect that exists in the way that many companies allocate their online marketing spend.

Not surprisingly, search advertising should continue to be the largest category, growing from $9.1 billion in 2007 to $20.9 billion in 2013.
– Source: C|Net News, June 30, 2008

While the current spend on natural SEO?

SEO: $1.3 billion (11%)
– Source: SEMPO data via Massimo Burgio, SMX Madrid 2008

So, out of a total of around $10.4 billion spent on search, only $1.3 billion, or 12.5% is spent on natural search placement. Therefore you would expect the potential traffic from natural search to be the smaller piece of the pie, right?


Looking at the Google heat map we can see that it’s the natural results that catch the attention of users viewing the page.

This superior visibility is matched by the click through rate data,

The natural results in Google drive more than 70% of search traffic, though only account for 12.5% of online spend.

Why is this? Take your pick from any one or more of the following,

  • PPC is an easier concept for people to understand, there is a general lack of education and understanding of the SEO process.
  • PPC is quicker (almost instant) to get results and you only pay for traffic that you actually receive. There is a higher perception of accountability and control.
  • Traditional marketers pay far less attention to SEO, column inches in the business press given over to SEO are far less than PPC. Again this may well be due to a lack of SEO understanding amongst journalists.
  • There is a lack of trust in a segmented and unregulated SEO marketplace. A basic lack of understanding handicaps buyers and can lead to acceptance of poor advice and wrong buying decisions.


November 5th, 2008.

SMX London – 25 Killer Tips, Tools And Strategies

Having just got back from SMX London I thought that rather than be one of 50 recap blog posts I thought I would try to do something a little different.

Sitting though about 15 hours of presentations and Q&A over the past couple of days was no mean feat. I’ve got a lot of sympathy for people with a short attention span!

Taking this sentiment on board I have put together a list of the best hints, tips, tools and strategies from the past couple of days, not just from the speakers themselves, but also picked up from around the conference halls and bars.

  1. Download the Microsoft AdCenter Excel plugin for keyword research. It’s incredibly versatile, users can easily manipulate long keyword lists and data. It even goes as far as adding extra data sets into the mix by offering historical data and demographic breakdowns. Unfortunately, since the is currently still in beta UK specific data hasn’t yet been made available.
  2. In ushering in a new era of transparency MSN is giving users an unprecedented amount of access to actionable data though the impressive AdCenter labs, some of the best tools include,
    Detecting commercial intention based on a URL or keyword phrase.
    Keyword group detection tool for detecting related keywords.
    Search funnels, for visualising search sequences and search funnels.
    Ad text writer, for the lazy PPC marketer! Enter a page URL and it will spit out a list of ad text.
  3. MSNs webmaster centre is now displaying lists of pages your pages that are penalised, contain malware or link to pages that contain malware.
  4. “More than 60% of companies are planning to increase their PPC or SEO budgets in 2009″ Linus Gregoriadis. Recession? What recession?
  5. Keyword phrase composition – consider all of the elements that may make up your users potential keyword phrases.
    For example – Use (For school) + Action (Buy) + Price (Cheap) + Attribute (Black) + Brand (Sony) + Location (UK) + Quality (New) + Your Keyword.
    Consider the alternatives for each of these and build your keyword lists accordingly.
  6. There is a real lack of awareness of new UK laws (enforced by Trading Standards and The Office Of Fair Trading) that now make it illegal to offer fake editorial content, without first making this fact clear to the reader. This will also affect fake internet reviews, promotional blog posts and comments that don’t offer disclosure of payment. – Judith Lewis
  7. Although there is/was some obvious disagreement, the consensus is that owning the local TLD is by far the easiest way of of ensuring rankings in the correct local search engines. Other factors include local hosting, links, translation and address data in both the WhoIs and on the pages themselves.
  8. The Redfly Google Global Firefox extension is perfect for searching local versions of Google quickly.
  9. Linkbait – It is now vital to keep it on topic/niche. Wandering off topic may make things easier, but it’s probably tempting fate. Jane @ SEOMoz
  10. Facebook fan pages are live, indexed and the links are non-nofollow.
  11. The Forrester Groundwell tool is great for understanding the likely social media engagement level of your target market demographic.
  12. Social media campaigns must should be carefully planned – be sure that you know who your audience are, which social media channels they’re likely to use, the creative message that you want to get across and your delivery strategy – Ciaran Norris
  13. Vanessa Fox – Duplicate content across local TLD properties “should” be properly dealt with by Google, the correct verion “should” be delivered in the equivalent local version of Google. – Notice emphasis ;) Again, I would say to be sure to have key content rewritten.
  14. Use psychological hooks in your linkbait. Take your core niche and add in a social media angle – environment, politcal, geeky etc. Be aware of the linking demographic, they’re typically male, intelligent and tech savvy. Linkbait isn’t linkbait if it doesn’t elicit links! – Lyndon Antcliff, Cornwall SEO
  15. Use search operators to find expired pages such as keyword+”this page is no longer available” either, contact the page owners for them to add a link to content on your site, or, contact the sites linking to the expired page asking them to link to your content instead. Tom @ Distilled
  16. Keep an eye on competitor business closures or bankruptcy, this gives an opportunity to either buy they domain, or contact sites linking to them to link to your site instead. Wiep Knoll
  17. Use forums and similar Web 1.0 communities for user generated linkbait
  18. Always try to use your keywords in the article title of linkbait pieces – it really helps getting your keyword phrases in links.
  19. Try launching linkbait on forums before onto social sites. In this way you can test it’s effectiveness, get feedback, and frequently pickup better quality content.
  20. Avoid foreign links from foreign sites, in large quantities these can be an obvious flag for closer inspection. Jay @ LinkFish Media
  21. Some “killer” tools worth taking a look at – Linkscape, Majestic SEO, TubeMogul, Optilink
  22. Buying websites for SEO can provide a competitive advantage in terms of links, or 301 redirecting the site to pass domain trust/authority and the backlink profile. Use these tactics sparingly though, too many sites being redirected can lead to a search engine penalty. Concentrate on buying traffic and relevance over PR and backlinks.
  23. Web 2.0 linkbuilding! We’re moving away from Web 1.0 methods like exchanges, link pages, paid links and comment spam, and moving towards internal link optimisation, online PR syndication, targeted PR submissions, guest writing, linkbaiting and social media.
  24. When buying domains change ownership indicators slowly, things like Whois data, hosting, design and content should be left as long as possible and changes staggered, Google will zero any link and age benefits if there is an obvious change in ownership. DaveN
  25. Finding domains for sale – Google searches, forums, DMOZ listings etc Richard Kershaw

Thanks also to Rob, Bruno, Chris, Rob, Rishil and many other people who I had a lot of fun discussing all of this with!


October 30th, 2008.

Blogging Goes Mainstream

One of the main obstacles to overcome when trying to convince a client of the merits of corporate blogging is the view that it’s a niche medium and it’s really read by visitors.

Recent figures released by ComScore indicate otherwise. A huge 41% of the total internet audience visited at least one blog in August 2008.

“Blogs have become part of the essential fabric of the Internet today,” said Herve Le Jouan, Managing Director, comScore Europe. “They live and breathe in real-time, helping quench media consumers’ thirst for the most up-to-date breaking news, information, and analysis. It should not, therefore, be particularly surprising that they’re increasingly displacing traditional media usage and carving out an ever-increasing slice of the online advertising pie.”

It’s no surprise that the most visited properties were technology and entertainment based with Engadget and UnrealityTV being the most popular.


September 18th, 2008.

SEO Buyers Guide – Free Download

Datadial have launched a revised second edition of their SEO buyers guide. The guide is designed to take the confusion and guesswork out of buying SEO services. One of the main problems facing the SEO industry is that buyers often aren’t clear on exactly what they are buying and why.

The problem arises when less scrupulous companies aim to take advantage of this lack of knowledge, promises are made that can’t be fulfilled, or the required work simply isn’t carried out.In the end it is not just the client that loses out, but also the industry as a whole as confidence is a difficult thing to win back.

Our buyers guide is aimed at taking the guesswork out of choosing your SEO vendor. It details the more common scams, details the work that should be being carried out in any good SEO campaign, and offers a list of key questions that you should be asking your potential SEO.

The key for any buyer is to educate yourself as much as possible about the service that you’re buying, the more you know, the more informed your decision will be.

Download our buyers guide for free


July 9th, 2008.

Bill Gates has stepped down as head of Microsoft, what’s next?

The world’s most famous geek, Bill Gates has recently stepped down from his post as commander-in-chief of the world’s biggest software company – Microsoft.

The man who once claimed he wanted to put a computer on the desk of every home has decided to take a step back from the amazing expansion seen in the computing industry over the past 30 or so years.  He plans to devote more time to his family and to his charitable organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, while still remaining Chairman of the company and keeping some influence over special projects such as future versions of Windows.

Bill Gates originally started his career by creating the programming language BASIC with his old school friend, Paul Allen, for the Altair 8800, one of the world’s first “Personal Computers”.  Eventually he registered Microsoft as a trademark in 1976 out of this work and brought together a collection of computer hobbyists and enthusiasts to become his first employees.  By 1980, Gates and Microsoft agreed to produce an operating system for the PC being developed by IBM, otherwise known as MS-DOS.  What followed was a massive expansion in their employee base and turnover, which in turn produced the first version of Windows by 1985, Microsoft Office by 1989 and by 1995, Gates was declared the richest man in the world.  At present, Microsoft now employees over 90,000 workers.

Just what does Gates’ departure mean for the future of Microsoft?  Well you would probably be suprised to hear – not much.  Two people have taken over Bill Gates’ role – Ray Ozzie and Steve Ballmer, but in the large part no one will know the difference as Bill Gates will always be considered as ‘Mr Microsoft’ long into the future.  I suspect the work at management level and the key decisions that are made will remain much the same.

I think that the next big task for Microsoft is to really brush up on the quality control side of things.  It’s fair to say there have been a few shambles over the past few years in all branches of the companies products – from the faulty X-Boxes, to the completely unfinished Vista, to the shambles over Office 2007 document formats and backwards compatibility and the uproar over Outlook 2007’s email rendering it’s been a pretty fiery time for Microsoft recently.

It’s not all bad though as on the plus side it really does seem they are keeping on top of the ball in the future of touch screen technology, releasing Windows on next-gen phones and attempting to make multi-billion dollar takeovers of major rival companies.

What the future really holds for Microsoft, that remains to be seen.  One thing for sure is that there will always be Microsoft haters and hard-core devotees – that will never change.

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