Microsoft online growth led by gaming, search

Updated: Oct 25, 2007 4:54 PM UTC

Microsoft (MSFT) mostly saw modest increases in traffic to its online properties in the third quarter, with gaming, technology, real estate and search leading the company's growth.

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The latest numbers from Nielsen Online show that the category for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, which is battling Nintendo's Wii and Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 3, was the fastest-growing online property for Microsoft compared to a year ago. Most important for the company though, its search business ranked in the top-five fastest-growing categories, a trend that will help Microsoft better compete with the likes of Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) for online advertising.


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Overall online traffic increases were small, however. Traffic to the Microsoft parent company increased three percent year over year, from a three-month average monthly audience of 115.9 million unique visitors in Q3 2006 to 119.1 million unique visitors in Q3 2007.

Microsoft's Top 5 Fastest Growing Channels (3-Month Average Monthly UniqueAudience)+-------------------------+---

 

-------+----------+--------------+
| Channel                 |  Q3 2006 |  Q3 2007 | Q3-Q3 Growth |
|                         | UA (000) | UA (000) |              |
+-------------------------+----------+----------+--------------+
| XBOX                    |    1,116 |    1,724 |          55% |
| MSN Tech & Gadgets      |    1,626 |    2,215 |          36% |
| MSN Astrology           |    1,110 |    1,457 |          31% |
| MSN Real Estate         |    2,941 |    3,805 |          29% |
| MSN/Windows Live Search |   39,856 |   51,525 |          29% |
+-------------------------+----------+----------+--------------+
Source: Nielsen Online, NetView