A Match Made In Heaven

The NY Times reported yesterday that Microsoft is in talks to acquire Claria (aka Gator).

This is probably a trial balloon put out by Microsoft to guage consumer and wall street reaction to such a deal.

I personally think its a great idea.

First of all, its a match made in heaven. Two of the most hated companies in the technology world getting together.  Sounds right to me.

But also, Microsoft is also the right home for Claria.

Claria has been trying, mostly in vain, to retool themselves as a legitmate adware company from a sleazy spyware company. It’s a hard thing to do.  Once you’ve pissed off hundreds of millions of people, you generally don’t get a second chance from most of them.

But Microsoft can take the good stuff that Claria has; its behavioral targeting technology, its relationships with advertisers who understand that behavior is the best targeting technique for many applications, and possibly Claria’s data.

I am certain Microsfot will quickly get out of whatever remaining spyware and other questionable businesses that Claria is in.  They need to be squeeky clean.

It also makes me wonder if Microsoft will combine Claria with its Giant anti-spyware business.  That would be a very interesting move.  Create one piece of software that both keeps your computer clean and does opt-in behavioral targeting.  I blogged about that idea once before but I can’t find the post to link to now.

In fact, Microsoft could be a leader in this emerging and very important category of online advertising. 

They could show everyone how to do it right.  I hope they do this deal.