Microsoft fire-sale sees ads unit go to AOL, maps to Uber
Redmond continues division diet, sheds loss-making businesses with no layoffs: reports
Microsoft yesterday announced a fire-sale of its loss-making business units as CEO Satya Nadella's restructuring strategy continued.
According to reports from online media, including Reuters, The Guardian and the Financial Times, the Redmond software company will offload its display advertising business to Verizon's AOL and sell some elements of its maps unit to cab-hailing app firm Uber.
As part of the AOL deal, Microsoft promised no layoffs and said employees of the ads division could transfer to AOL. The US ISP will take charge of ad sales on MSN, Outlook.com, Xbox, Skype and some apps in a number of major territories worldwide. In addition, AOL Web searches will use Microsoft's Bing.
Microsoft has reportedly seen a $10bn loss from its online properties over the past five years and Nadella has promised that Bing will see profit in the next fiscal year.
A price tag for the Uber sale was not disclosed, but the purchase is thought to involve Microsoft's imagery acquisition and map-data processing technologies, which it acquired when it bought Nokia's devices division. Uber will integrated the tech into a smorgasbord of solutions pieced together from other providers such as Google, Apple and China's Baidu. Uber has reportedly also offered to take on Microsoft employees working on the acquired tech.
"Today's news is evidence of Microsoft's increased focus on our strengths: in this case, search and search advertising and building great content and consumer services," the company said in a statement.