Microsoft Will Power AOL Search, Transfer Some Advertising Work As It Sheds Hundreds Of Employees

Update: In an interview, Microsoft indicated that Bing now doesn’t lose money. That’s several quarters ahead of its stated public cashflow schedule. 

Following the news that it will shed around 100 employees to Uber in a mapping technology deal, Microsoft announced this afternoon that it will now power AOL’s search property, and will apportion parts of its advertising work into both AOL and AppNexus.

AOL, which owns TechCrunch, was recently purchased by Verizon, so it seems that Microsoft and our New Corporate Death Star are now in business together.

The move comes with a host of layoffs — reportedly around 1,200 — some positions of which will be subsumed into AOL all of which will be offered jobs at AOL. It’s worth keeping in mind that Microsoft recently underwent a sharp series of layoffs following its purchase of the majority of Nokia’s hardware assets.

The deal is another plank in Microsoft’s current, and very vocal attempt to slim its operations and have a more concerted product focus. Today’s earlier news that the company is getting out of the mapping imaging world is a similar move by the company; the old joke that an argument that answers everything answers nothing applies, but in this case, the company that does everything does nothing well.

Oddly enough, Microsoft said something nice about TechCrunch. Consider this additional disclosure:

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 2.09.36 PM

This deal means another opportunity for Microsoft “validate the quality” of Bing’s search and ad platforms on a major scale.

Microsoft also announced an expansion of their partnership with the online advertising company AppNexus that would make the company Bing’s exclusive programmatic technology and sales partner in ten of its European markets.

This expanded partnership shows Microsoft’s heightening efforts towards growing programmatic access to advertisers in its European markets. It noted in a blog post that it’s seen more than 50 percent of business in its Nordic countries turn programmatic, something that’s allowing it to take this larger step forward today.

Here’s the official comment:

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. This evolution in our approach to display advertising allows us to keep this focus, while working with industry leaders to market our services.

Shares in Verizon, a partner in the deal, are flat after hours. Microsoft’s own shares are currently up all but unch.