Microsoft is reportedly going to axe its display ad business, instead handing over all such operations handed over to AOL and AppNexus.
The reorganisation could put as many as 1,200 jobs in jeopardy but many of these will be offered the chance to relocate, either within Microsoft itself or with AOL or AppNexus.
Microsoft is keen to divest itself of non-core interests as part of a business strategy devised by CEO Satya Nadella which will see it focus on personal computing, cloud platforms and business productivity.
Microsoft is also selling some map-generating technology to Uber as it slims down money-losing online operations.
The world’s largest software company no longer gives results for its online operations, chiefly the MSN web portal and Bing, but they have lost more than $10bn over the past five years.
Chief executive Satya Nadella has said Bing will turn a profit next fiscal year.
“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,” said a Microsoft statement.
This follows an earlier promise to deliver ‘magical things’ in 2016 around the impending launch of its much hyped Windows 10 software.
Microsoft and Uber did not disclose financial terms of their deal, under which Uber will take over the part of Microsoft’s mapping unit that works on imagery acquisition and map data processing. Uber would offer jobs to the 100 or so Microsoft employees working in that area, a source familiar with the deal said.
Uber already uses a combination of map services from Google, Apple and China’s Baidu, and the source said it would continue to do so.
Microsoft said it would no longer collect mapping imagery itself but would continue to work with imagery providers. It already gets much of its map data from Finland’s Nokia.