I Received the inevitable email from Microsoft today. It was inevitable because in the face of all the acquisitions, consolidations, and new technologies to deliver ads on the web, it was a miracle that LinkExchange even lasted as long as it did.
LinkExchange opened its operations in 1996. It created a banner exchange marketplace where sites could get their banner ads displayed on other members' sites in exchange for participating in the program and displaying banners from others. The company made money by selling a percentage of the banner placements to paid advertisers.
In 1998 (fortuitously before the dotcom implosion) Microsoft acquired LinkExchange for $265 million and rolled it into its small business services initiative, dubbed bCentral. Eventually newer players (read Google) and newer technologies made the old boring banner exchanges obsolete but LinkExchange soldiered on, until now.
Now that Microsoft is shifting its bCentral operations to live.com and adCenter has been positioned to compete with google's AdWords and Yahoo's Panama, it was time to decommission the old banner exchange. Microsoft stopped taking new LinkExchange applications on Nov. 15th, 2006 and as of June 4th, 2007 will stop serving banners.
So as LinkExchange takes its final bow, scroll to the bottom of this page to say your farewells. Soon there will be an empty spot in its place.