Microsoft takes delivery of Rapt package

Microsoft added to its Bay Area presence today with the purchase of Rapt, a San Francisco company that offers software and consulting services that help Web site publishers adjust how they package and price display-ad space. Scott Howe, a general manager in Microsoft’s advertiser and publisher solutions group, said Rapt’s system is similar to the one airlines use to set ticket prices and track available seats. Microsoft got to know Rapt by using its system on MSN and, according to Rapt CEO Tom Chavez, boosting its ad revenue 15 to 20 percent. The deal (terms not disclosed) is another in a string of Microsoft acquisitions of start-ups intended to flesh out its ad services.

Leslie Poston at writes: “Taking a look at the series of purchases Microsoft has made in the last year and coupling that with its hostile bid for Yahoo, it is easy to see that the giant wants a place online as a major presence. Not only that, it is obviously poising itself to compete directly against Google. … What this means in the short term is that Yahoo can kiss any hopes of shaking Microsoft off their tail by stalling and hoping for rescue. Microsoft means business, and Yahoo is their shortcut to making their long range goals happen.”


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