The digital consolidation and convergence could continue soon at an ad server near you, as Microsoft is rumored to be in the market for online ad delivery provider, DoubleClick.
DoubleClick has had a long and interesting history, peaking in 1999 before losing a few hundred million in shareholder value after dipping its toes in the wrong privacy waters (history would suggest they never actually did anything wrong...it was much ado about what they had announced that they might do that got them into trouble).
If software is, in fact, becoming a service, and Windows Office Live becomes the new ad-supported online software productivity suite, buying DoubleClick seems to be a no-brainer. Somebody's got to serve the ads that appear next to Bob the Paper Clip when he springs up to help you with your Web-based formatting!
DoubleClick's Performics search unit, combined with its global reach and ability to serve and target display ads (with a video ad serving play likely about to start streaming in from the wings) and strong network allows Microsoft to possibly cruise past Google in the online advertising passing lane.
Of course, as Searchblog's John Battelle indicates, "Google can't let this stand," hinting that Google may be building its own "GoogleClick."
ZDNet's "Between the Lines" blog says the purchase would be intriguing.
Turbo says don't count your clicks before they convert.