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Microsoft Working On Own Cookies Replacement

Just last month, sources claimed that Google was working on an anonymous identifier for advertising (AdID) that will replace third-party cookies. This AdID would be transmitted to advertisers and ad networks only if they have agreed to basic guidelines, giving consumers more control over their privacy and how they browse the Internet. Microsoft, it seems, wants to bake its own batch of tracking technology too.

Sources told AdAge that the Redmond company is internally developing technology to enable tracking across Windows-based smartphones, tablets and desktops. This tech would also be used on the Xbox consoles, within Internet Explorer and the Bing search engine. Microsoft is reportedly in the early planning stages, and so far the Xbox One seems to be on the end of Microsoft's rollout list.

"We agree that going beyond the cookie is important. Our priority will be to find ways to do this that respect the interests of consumers," a Microsoft spokesperson told AdAge in an email.

Currently, there's little information regarding Microsoft's supposed tracking technology. AdAge believes the company's cookie replacement will be a device identifier, and enabled when a user agrees to a device's terms of service or user agreement. In turn, this method would place all collected user data in Microsoft's hands rather than the countless third parties that currently troll web browser habits.

AdAge provides a possible scenario, describing an Xbox owner opening the Vevo app and viewing a restaurant's advertisement video. Vevo could then load up a banner for the same restaurant when the customer opens the Vevo app on a Surface tablet, and even add the banner in the Windows Phone app to drive that customer's business to the restaurant.

Advertisers have reportedly pressured tech companies to move beyond cookies for years because the aging tech can't bridge desktop and mobile devices. Thus advertisers have no way of knowing if a banner run in a desktop browser led to a purchase of the product through the user's phone or tablet. Microsoft's supposed tracking tech would make this connection possible.

"Not only would [Microsoft] be building out an ad ID, but they would also be building out a cross-channel attribution model, which everybody wants," said The Media Kitchen president Barry Lowenthal.

Currently, Facebook can track users across the Internet thanks to its universal login tools. Apple introduced its own Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) tracking system in iOS 6, and has blocked tracking cookies by default in Safari for a number of years.

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  • back_by_demand
    As long as we retain the option to switch it off I don't care what system they use
  • bmwman91
    Just remember folks, YOU are the product. Pretty soon, all content will be ad content and we'll all have marketing tripe jammed into our eyeballs 24/7. Just wait until someone invents a dream control unit. Wake up every day with a compulsion to buy a new blender and life insurance. Glorious!
  • Estix
    So, wait, a year ago, MS was making a huge deal about the "Do Not Track" feature of IE 10,.. Now they're talking about taking full control over tracking from the user?

    Was all the Do Not Track business just to make advertises have to use their system?
  • tim1935
  • grimtriad
    Please ignore the Microsoft Ad department, you'll find that other Microsoft departments often reply to their "quotes" with "it'll be optional," and by that they mean opt in not opt out like Google and Facebook.

    Legitimately, if Microsoft becomes the standard for the cookie replacement (and you should want them to as they are competing with Google on this and Google's replacement will only ever be evil and insidious) they will likely have a lot of ways to shut it down, most of them set by default.

    I suspect this is so because impacting Google's primary revenue stream is far more effective a competition strategy than supporting a part of their own business that makes up less than 5% of their profit. if Google is making less money on adds, especially on phones searches where the market is moving to, they'll be less effective at creating a free OS that competes directly with Microsoft's primary business.

    I personally support Microsoft because I'd rather pay a couple hundred to be a Corporations customer and have the privileges associated with that rather than give a corporation access to all of my psychological information so they can convince me to spend thousands that I don't need to. In the end it makes more financial sense even though the short term gains are hard to see.

    Currently my strategy seems to be working as I receive very few targeted ads, but it's pretty easy for me to spot which companies are using Google services to support their product search engines as I immediately start seeing adds for whatever I last searched on most webpages. Hopefully the Government will step in at some point on the privacy issues Google is constantly raising and force companies to disclose their search providers or allow us to opt out of that tracking as well.

    Just a thought for the Anti-Microsoft crowd to chew on.
  • jaguarskx
    All I want is for my PC to GIVE ME a chocolate chip cookie from time to time so that I'll have something to much on...
  • stevejnb
    11727192 said:
    Just remember folks, YOU are the product. Pretty soon, all content will be ad content and we'll all have marketing tripe jammed into our eyeballs 24/7. Just wait until someone invents a dream control unit. Wake up every day with a compulsion to buy a new blender and life insurance. Glorious!

    11727533 said:
    So, wait, a year ago, MS was making a huge deal about the "Do Not Track" feature of IE 10,.. Now they're talking about taking full control over tracking from the user?

    Was all the Do Not Track business just to make advertises have to use their system?

    Meh, the company that is taking over the world is Google, and the general public can't wait to rush into Big Brother Google's loving arms. What is Google's mantra? "We won't charge you up-front, but we'll sell every bit of information that you put into our services for marketing." Is it such a surprise that MS is changing their tune in light of Google's dominance with this strategy?

    You know, in the early 80's, we saw a slow but steady trend starting, and that trend was cheap-foreign labour for cheap goods in the store. Companies would shut down a first world factory supporting the lifestyle of first world workers, and get virtual slave labour making their goods in Taiwan - which were immediately imported back to the first world to be sold for low prices and huge profits. But what people didn't consider was the long term effects of this whole racket... At the time, people thought it was wonderful - you save a few bucks in the store, and where is the harm in that? Sure, someone, somewhere, lost a job that paid a decent wage, and the money may filter right to the top, but it's not that big a deal - right?

    Fast forward 30 years later and everyone is screaming "WHERE HAVE ALL THE JOBS GONE? THE CORPORATIONS ARE AT FAULT!"... No, they aren't. The fault lies with hundreds of millions of short sighted people who went into a store and bought Made in Taiwan (and later China) goods over made in America/Canada/England/Spain/Italy/wherever. The demand was there for cheap goods, so those goods were made. Every bit as much as it is stupid to blame drug use on Mexican drug lords, it's inane to blame "Made in China" on American companies and Chinese factories - because neither would exist without massive demand for the product.

    Today, in computers, we pay a flat rate for products.. Or at least we did a few years ago. There are all sorts of ups and downs to this model, but the basics of it is "I hand $50 over to company X and I get product Y which cost them Z - Q% to make." But this is changing, and Google has to be the flagship of this change, and their success it dragging everyone along. Why compete with a successful model? People can't wait to get products for fewer dollars if all it takes is wholesaling our personal information in order to get our gadgets, devices, and doo-dads. Because that's the future... You get the delivery device/service cheap or free, but everything you do with it will be micro-transactioned to the gills and the companies will milk more money from you with a "free" device than they ever did getting you to pay up front.

    I'll likely still be kicking around in 30 years, but at that time, I suspect I'll see hordes of people in another revolt, blaming the evil corporations for what they perceive as a wrongdoing - which was, in reality, those corporations giving them *exactly* what they wanted. That perceived wrong doing, I suspect, will be the death of private information, because 95%+ of the companies is the first world will have ditched the "pay upfront for a product" model in favour of the more profitable "offer cheap or free, but sell the 'buyer' out to merchants once they are feeding data into our devices" model.

    Guess what, one of the biggest companies that had the idea of "Hey, we can get our money from the customer without selling all of their private information" is changing their business model to sell your information to the highest bidder. That's what the whole Scroogled ad campaigns were about, as we were all laughing at them, and silly old outdated Microsoft, charging such a stupid amount for their OS's and software suites, as Google offers their services for free - because they are really free, right?.... Right?

    This is the beginning of - heck, not the beginning, this is phase ten - of the next big injustice that billions of people will be bitching about 30, 20, or 10 years down the road, which people are inviting into their homes right now. It has happened before, it will happen again - it is happening now. What people think about big bad old Microsoft now, for being the evil of a dying business model, people will think about Google once they realize the implications of what Google is doing. But not yet... For now, we all love them, because they put cool stuff in our hands for cheap, and who really cares what's going on under the hood - right?

    I'd say something like "make a stand now" or "vote with your wallets - support privacy, pay for your products up front rather than with your private information!" now, but, it would be an inane waste of time. This is happening. Heck, it has happened. Back in the 80's, you could have held a "Buy American!" protest in every major city in the US every week of the year, and half the people attending it or agreeing with the message would have still made the important decision to buy cheap foreign goods when they saw the price tags staring them in the face. I'll get a few snide remarks proclaiming me a fanboy or saying that I'm missing how fast the next device X is going to be for so cheap or whatever, and maybe a few will agree. None of it will matter. People will vote for the cheap with their wallets, without meaningful exception.
  • monsta
    You get sick of all this advertising and tracking from these companies , as long as there is 3rd party software to block this then I'm happy.
  • back_by_demand
    At least feel slightly more at ease with MS doing this as they charge for their software, if Google software is free they have to get the money from somewhere so raping your surf habits to sell is always going to happen.
  • digiex
    Hackers use to steal identities then sell them, but it is illegal, Big data corporations and NSA also steal identities but it is legal.