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MS in Verticals – Buys Predictive Analytics company, Farecast  

Seattle Pi’s Venture Blog has the full story from the start to the end.

Farecast was started by University of Washington computer scientist Oren Etzioni, initially bankrolled by Madrona, built with people from local companies such as Alaska Airlines and AdRelevance and, ultimately, acquired by Microsoft.

Though Farecast had multiple bidders, McIlwain said Microsoft was a good fit since the two companies had worked together in the past and had a similar vision for online search. The proximity of the two companies also played a part, he said.

The acquisition follows the merger of Kayak.com and SideStep, the market leader in next generation travel search. That deal led to new opportunities for Farecast, including discussions with Microsoft which heated up in the past 90 days.

“That consolidation presented opportunities for Farecast … partly differentiated because of their predictive capabilities but also because of who they might have been able to align with in the industry to be a strong and differentiated number two, hoping some day to overtake and become number one,” he said.

Madrona has produced a number of hits recently, with the sales of ShareBuilder, World Wide Packets and iConclude.

Also a quick analysis from Motel Fool on this buy -

Microsoft needs more deals like this one, especially if the Microhoo deal comes undone, and the software giant has the means to go shopping. I’ve suggested that Microsoft pursue potential buyout candidates like The Knot (Nasdaq: KNOT) and Bankrate (Nasdaq: RATE) for the same reason that Farecast works. Whether it’s wedding planning, home refinancing, or booking that flight to visit your parents in Chicago, this is the quality traffic that Microsoft and Yahoo! lack right now.

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Written by Guru Kirthigavasan

April 18th, 2008 at 8:41 am

Microsoft’s Business Intelligence Conference 2008  

MS BI Conference 2008

I missed last year’s Microsoft’s Business Intelligence Conference as I was on a vacation during the month of May. But this year, I wouldn’t want to miss it and hence I reserving my seat this time. Especially because its a must-go for Business Intelligence professionals and secondly its happening here at Seattle.

This is the 2nd Business Intelligence Conference conducted by Microsoft and it should be interesting to see their roll-out of new products.

From the Conference Microsite -

This exciting and informative conference will showcase Microsoft’s market-leading business intelligence (BI) products, solution expertise and customer successes. The event is designed to educate customers and partners on every aspect of Microsoft’s BI offering. You can also expect even more educational tracks and sessions by Microsoft product and industry experts, customer best practices sessions, the second-annual Microsoft BI Customer Awards presentation, hands-on labs, and much more!

Check out the last year’s Microsoft BI Conference.

BTW, The Gartner Business Intelligence Summit 2008 begins from today at Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The US version of this Gartner BI summit is scheduled for the month of April with a keynote from Ian Ayres, the author of the recent swashbuckling book, Super Crunchers. Will write a review about this book here, very soon.

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Written by Guru Kirthigavasan

February 5th, 2008 at 11:15 am