Microsoft thinks Drupal is a greater threat (and pays Google to fight drupal)

Submitted by mridul on Mon, 12/14/2009 - 06:05

Is Drupal a bigger challenge to Microsoft that even Google ? Atleast Microsoft seems to thinks so. Because Microsoft is now paying google (hard cash) to fight Drupal.

The other day I was checking for the Drupal website list. But what attracted me more on the page was the small Google adsense block with the title "Forget Drupal and get:"...

Oops, here is an advertisement against drupal on a very page that lists all drupal websites. But the biggest surprise was that the advertisement was from none other than Microsoft. Clicking the advertisement takes you directly to the page of Microsoft's new product - Webspark, on

Check the screenshot for the microsoft ad

It baffled me that the advertisement was placed there by Google Adsense. Which simply means that Microsoft is paying Google to place their advertisement on all drupal related sites.

The last time I heard was that Microsoft is fighting a do or die battle against Google. With Google entering the Operating system arena, Microsoft was heard preparing for a full fledged attack. Now Microsoft has its own advertisement network that directly compete against Google Adsense.

So why should microsoft be paying google for placing its advertisement ?

The answer should be simple. Microsoft considers Drupal a bigger challenge than Google. With major corporate bodies and governments embracing drupal for their web needs, it is no surprise that Microsoft feels threatened. Some of the major businesses that have already embraced drupal includes AT&T, CNN etc and Government bodies including the, British government, BBC magazines etc. Check Dries's list of drupal sites to get a feel of Drupal's acceptance in corporate circles.

So even if it means they end up paying Google, Microsoft seems to be determined to attract anyone who is slightly even interested in Drupal.

Note - This blog is proudly powered by Drupal and so is - Must watch and amazing video collection

EDIT - Microsoft has pulled down the Advertisement. I've posted a followup for this article here - Microsoft vs Drupal story follow up and Explanations



Submitted by james Nelmondo (not verified) on Thu, 11/25/2010 - 14:36.

Ironically, it seems Drupal 7 has generated more scepticism than anticipation. I use Drupal myself, though I've enjoyed the underdog status it has almost always had.

I love drupal!

Submitted by Dan (not verified) on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 20:45.

I love drupal!

Microsoft Drupal threat

Submitted by Lee Business (not verified) on Sun, 06/13/2010 - 13:50.

I guess a business feels threatened when another offers a similar product for free and reaches the masses rather quickly. Perhaps they are afraid of the next step, like Google fearing Facebook...

Druopal VS Micorsoft

Submitted by Lawrence (not verified) on Fri, 04/16/2010 - 19:41.

No matter how you look at it, competion is good all around. All the big palyers dominate their markets then try to get into otehrs. Take browsers for instance, Micorsoft's basically suck compared to Firefox. So the big guys dont always win. Go Drupal!!!! lol

Is competition not good??

Submitted by Barrie Evans (not verified) on Tue, 03/09/2010 - 15:58.

I thought that competition in this day and age was a good thing. That way we should get better services and competitive prices. Does Microsoft think that this is not fair?? I wonder


Submitted by Mohaberry Youhoing (not verified) on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 13:37.

That is funny but pathetic. They need to stop telling people to battle their battles. Drupal has directed their competition not to Google but Microsoft.

That just sounds dum - but it is Microsoft

Submitted by Seona Company (not verified) on Mon, 02/01/2010 - 01:52.

Drupal is a great platform for building websites and web applications, how on earth could MS see them as a threat? To what part of the industry? Search? No way...

Drupal simply ramains a good CMS

I still love microsoft

Submitted by Jamie Peterson (not verified) on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 02:36.

This is very interesting topic. Thanks for posting this. In marketing patience really is a virtue.

Big Companies and the Small Guys

Submitted by Jay Sargos (not verified) on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 20:29.

For example IE's blocking of Adsense is also a blow to the smaller internet marketer who
was using it as a mainstay of income- maybe putting in a few years of SEO based on that
modality of stream of income. We all get caught in the war of Google vs. Microsoft and vica versa, but you are right about one cannot exist without the other- one makes hardware- the other makes software-welcome to free enterprise!

Great post Jay, I did not

Submitted by Phillip Dews (not verified) on Sun, 06/27/2010 - 10:12.

Great post Jay,

I did not even realise that and am quite shocked! As an Internet marketeer myself I use Adsence as well as kontera and Clickbank as well as other affilite schemes in my online money making adventures and to learn that IE are blocking my blogs ads is quite shoking!

IE is still the biggest browser out there but I personally use FF myself! also what about the guys paying for the ads to be shown i can imagine they would be reeling! I know I sure would be. Now dont get me wrong I am in no way a millionaire (yet) but I love making money online and that has very shocked me as i love getting my monthly cheque off google!

thanks for Sharing Jay!

-Phillip Dews

Word Conspirancy

Submitted by Andrés Miranda (not verified) on Fri, 01/22/2010 - 21:26.

"Forget, India..." to make SEO and E-Marketing Strategies.

About conspirancy, Oh, c'mon!

Welcome to New World Order, Drupal!

It's not surprising

Submitted by 1983 Sale (not verified) on Tue, 01/19/2010 - 20:48.

Microsoft has been way behind on Internet related technologies since the start of all this hoopla. They need to regain ground somehow, and with their deep pockets, I'm not surprise their buying advertising to gain ground on Drupal, which is a really nice package too.

Open Source Is the biggest threat

Submitted by Vikram (not verified) on Tue, 01/19/2010 - 15:50.

i think open source us the biggest threat to microsoft it does not matter wheather it is drupal or wordpress but i agree with you in drupal case.


Submitted by Sonbol Watches (not verified) on Thu, 01/14/2010 - 19:05.

I'd imagine Wordpress being an even bigger threat, but not Drupal.

This is just sad

Submitted by TAP Profit Funnel Review (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2010 - 09:55.

How could Drupal be a threat to MS? Gee... Drupal is an open source platform... It will take many years for MS to go down .... actually I don't think that's possible.

Miss Understood :-(

Submitted by mridul on Thu, 12/17/2009 - 13:56.

My message was simple - Drupal is now big. It is no more the simple CMS that is used only for the small hobby sites. It has come to a stage that company's like Microsoft are willing to pay, and sometimes even pay competitors to challenge Drupal.

Further Updates and Explanations to this article

Thank you all for the comments.

Microsoft Talks about this

Submitted by PraVeeN (not verified) on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 07:22.

Hope you guys might already read this -

its a simple intercept marketing technique

Submitted by Blogrep (not verified) on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 05:30.

Guys.. it is as simple as that.. lets first understand how google adsense works...

I assume that this ad is on a keyword function.. and the ad copy changes automatically on the basis of content on page.. if it has drupal .. the ad copy will say drupal.. if it is jhoomla.. it will automatically become jhoolma.
companies advertise thru ad sense because it is a intercept marketing technique.. its a way of reaching to that set of audience which is not searching for you but is searching for some other product which is similar to yours.. simple..

its not a matter of threat n all.. this will happen for most of the products arounf the world and not just Microsoft :)

Response from Microsoft

Submitted by Mark Brown (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 19:56.

Hello everyone. My name is Mark Brown. I work for Microsoft in Redmond and work on the Microsoft Web Platform Team. I am responsible for Advertising for Microsoft's Web Platform. This includes our WebsiteSpark program. It also includes advertising for Drupal.

I learned of this issue this morning while reading Twitter and came across Dries Tweet on this subject. I follow Dries as well as a number of people in the Drupal Community on Twitter.

First, I want to apologize on behalf of Microsoft for this advertisement. I have contacted Google directly and am working on having this ad pulled as soon as humanly possible. Internally we are actively working on tracking down exactly how this happened. Suffice to say we will ensure it doesn't happen again.

Second, I want to aknowledge that Microsoft and Drupal have been actively working together for some time now to help make Drupal on the Windows Platform better by providing an easy means for downloading, installing and configuring Drupal on Windows. If you are interested in checking that out you can here,

Finally, I want to make you all aware that we are actively working to promote downloading Drupal for Windows here at Microsoft. If you are curious, I threw up a few copies of the adverts I created to help promote Drupal on Windows. This is how we want to promote Drupal.

Again my sincere apologies for this. We very much value our partnership with the Drupal Community and I hope you can forgive us.

Mark Brown
Senior Product Manager
Microsoft Web Platform Team
Twitter: @markjbrown

Appreciate the gesture

Submitted by mridul on Thu, 12/17/2009 - 13:58.

Thank you Mark. I appreciate the Gesture. It was great that you removed the advertisement. BTW, the article was no way intented at Microsoft or the Ad. But it was my happiness to see Drupal being recognized.

Microsoft supports Drupal

Submitted by Robert Douglass (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 19:04.

Acquia and Microsoft have partnered to offer Drupal via their MS Web Platform. px

This has resulted in over 53,000 downloads, reaching an audience that is mostly new to Drupal.

Wow are you off base...

Submitted by Arlen (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 18:29.

If MS really considered Drupal a threat at all, why would it offer it as a free download through its Web Platform Installer?

The WebsiteSpark kit is just a free set of MS web developer tools for three years, that's all (You can even use them to develop for Drupal, if you like, they won't care -- though they'll want you to use IIS and MS SQL Server as the backend for it the web app). Drupal doesn't compete with it. You just got suckered by a clueless marketing droid, that's all.

MS isn't religious about sales, it'll pay money to anyone to advertise products. Anything it pays Google in advertising is dwarfed by the sales revenue it gets in return.

Giving Microsoft Too Much Credit

Submitted by Robert Castelo (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 18:01.

I think you're making a basic mistake in assuming that Microsoft has a coherent strategy ;-)

It's a large company that has grown out of control, often undertaking completely contradictory initiatives - just look at their mobile business, what a mess!


Submitted by Finbarr Taylor (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 17:00.

But jumping to the conclusion that Microsoft regard Drupal as a bigger threat than Google, just because they advertise a product through AdWords for Drupal related keywords, is total nonsense.

Google are the be all and end all when it comes to advertising online, and Microsoft clearly recognise this - that is why they advertise with them.

I've never read such tripe in my life.

You are jumping to a wrong conclusion

Submitted by KP (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 16:38.

Honestly, I think you are missing a lot of context in your conclusion.

Microsoft promotes the utilization of Drupal on the Windows web stack on their own Web Application Gallery: and does so by saying that: "Acquia Drupal provides the fastest on-ramp to build dynamic and social web sites featuring both editorial and user-generated content." I don't see Microsoft considering Drupal as a threat at all.

And there's plenty of reasons for a corporation to place advertisement bets on their competitors. Comcast ads appear all the time on Direct TV and vice versa, dont they?... I'm sure Microsoft utilizes their competitor's advertising reach to their advantage in many ways.


Balance of risk/benefit

Submitted by Shava Nerad (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 15:47.

Really, m$ knows that paying Google a few thousand for AdSense is no significant gain to Google.

But they also know many Drupal sites use an AdSense plug-in.

They are using AdSense as a trojan horse to insert their info with the narrowest targeting, because knowing y'all use AdSense is their "in."

If they saturated Drupal sites with ads, it wouldn't be a rounding error's worth of daily revenue to Google.

Whoa...never see the ads

Submitted by el7cosmos (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 15:43.

Whoa...never see the ads before!!

But i think Drupal is really a big threat for them...

Likely just an overeager PR firm

Submitted by chx (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 15:34.

Last we checked, MS was fine with Drupal and this is very likely to be the work of some overeager PR firm.

Drupal & Microsoft

Submitted by Daniel Hall (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 15:31.

I have been seeing some really baffling things that directly relate to this.

For weeks now whenever I do a search for Drupal and any search with 'drupal' as a keyword... Microsoft is paying for THE TOP SPONSORED SLOT... #1 with a page that has a free download of Drupal, including who knows what else is included to make it work on your desktop... maybe their web server and what else?

My guess after reading this story is that somehow maybe they are gauging the demand and possibly collecting leads for their competing system to hit hard with sales.

I have no idea, but why Microsoft is paying the highest bid to Google to come up when someone types Drupal is confusing. Also, to hear that other ads are bad mouthing drupal and linking to web spark? or whatever it is (I dont know since I cannot download it)

This needs to be seriously investigated.

I just looked at it again... and well, they sure are pushing the MS Web Platform, so that you could get Drupal running... seems very odd to me... In fact I know what their goals are...

Very deceptive and now they are riding popular OS projects to find their market. WOW

I'd be interested in whether

Submitted by catch (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 05:53.

I'd be interested in whether they targeted only Drupal, or just bought keywords for the top 5 or 10 CMS, including Joomla, Wordpress etc. I'd suspect the latter.

I'd guess that, too.

Submitted by Amy Stephen (not verified) on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 02:10.

It wasn't too long ago - 6 months, a year, tops, that Sun had anti-Joomla! ads. !

I think it's a bit much to

Submitted by Kyle Mathews (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 05:46.

I think it's a bit much to jump from "microsoft advertises on Drupal keywords" to "Drupal equals bigger threat to Microsoft than Google." Microsoft, I'm sure, advertises on Google for a whole number of its products. Why? The same reason every other company in the world does (I'm exaggerating some) because Google has the biggest ad network in the world and while Microsoft of course wants their search engine/ad network to win, in the meantime, they're in the business of making money which might necessitate advertising on their competitors network.

Keyword tactic

Submitted by betz (not verified) on Sat, 12/26/2009 - 03:05.

wanna say the same.

Microsoft fears drupal? Sounds too blown up for me.
Just some smart keyword tactic :)

Just a google ad, not a conspiracy

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 04:32.

Your logic is flawed. This is just an ad campaign. Microsoft uses google for advertising because they want to reach a broader audience. By your logic maybe Microsoft should only advertise on MSNBC.

My guess is that if your search was for Joomla or Wordpress, or even PHPnuke, the ad engine would have inserted that word instead. You will often see ads like this for asking inviting you to search fo some keyword on their site.

Microsoft considers Drupal a

Submitted by Stuart (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 04:27.

Microsoft considers Drupal a bigger challenge than Google.

False conclusion.

Microsoft pays Google a ton of money. It advertises many things via adsense.

Google pays Microsoft a ton of money. How many computers owned by Google do you think run Microsoft products?

There is a cost-benefit analysis you could do here. Microsoft did.

well said...piting Microsoft

Submitted by Mohanraj Thangarasu (not verified) on Mon, 12/14/2009 - 14:58.

Its funny to know Microsoft is fight against Drupal which they always do with any free and open source platform. Its no wonder if Microsoft uses drupal for marketing its product. Drupal is powered by People and they love it a lot.

With regards
Mohanraj Thangarasu

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