Last Friday, Bill Gates officially stepped down from his full-time position at Microsoft, which he co-founded with childhood friend Paul Allen in 1975, to focus on his philanthropic organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest charity. I doubt this will have much impact on MicrosofPPC Advertising Newst or PPC Advertising at this time, but it is worthy of noting as he had a historic role in the development of technology as we know it. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak 10 years ago at the Comdex Convention in Chicago. I was there to gather information for an Internet Stocks Newsletter I was publishing at the time. I can remember two things from that event. First is that the PC he was doing a demo on for Windows 98 crashed. He made a joke about it and handled the situation well. More importantly, he specifically mentioned that Microsoft’s focus would be on the Internet going forward. They had recently purchased Hotmail and were going after AOL, LOL. Another funny thing is that Google was not even on the radar yet. How things have changed in 10 years! Now Google appears to be in the process of taking over the world, AOL is holding on for life and Microsoft is scrambling to figure out what to do after arguably failing to successfully position themselves as a meaningful player in the Internet arena.

Speaking of Google, I should note that they released a valuable new version of AdWords Editor last month. This new upgrade has some helpful new features making it a worthy update. For those of you not familiar with AdWords Editor, it is an amazingly powerful free tool provided by Google that enables Google AdWords Accounts to be managed much more efficiently. Much, much, much more efficiently. If you are managing your own Google AdWords Campaign, please do yourself a favor and start using AdWords Editor today.

Google also released Ad Planner last week, a free tool that lets ad buyers target Web sites based on audience characteristics, causing Comscore’s (the current leader in web metrics) stock price to plunge 23% in one day. It’s never good to find out that Google is competing with you. Maybe that is why Yahoo! decided to play nice with Google on the PPC Advertising front, which may prove to be a wise and lucrative decision. Google is a better friend than foe.

Yahoo! announced a major management overhaul last week in an effort to better capitalize on their 500-million+ unique monthly users. That sure is a whole lot of users. Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang said the changes were “designed to put us in an even better position to leverage our leading global audience and capture the opportunity we see in the convergence of search and display advertising.” I sure look forward to seeing how this all plays out. That’s a wrap for this week’s PPC Industry review.  Have a great and safe 4th of July.