Vista and Affiliate Marketing: What’s In Store on Tuesday?

Many of us have played with the beta versions of Microsoft’s new OS, Windows Vista over the past few months. However, what features or potential issues in the operating system might give affiliate marketers a headache or reason to cheer?

Granted, affiliate marketing is an online business, so it would seem that an offline operating system would not interfere with what happens in a customer’s browser. However, Vista has (fairly) integrated the offline with the online and the blend may end up providing new challenges or cheers to those of us in the online marketing sphere.

So, here are some of the features affiliate marketers need to be aware of in Vista… particularly in the internet browsing (IE7) portion of the OS

  • RSS. It’s too early to tell if Vista’s IE7 integration of RSS feeds into the browsing experience will bear much fruit for those of us who have been preaching from the mountaintop about the benefits of RSS for affiliate marketers and merchants outside of pushing offer updates to publishers. There is real gold in growing a large and responsive customer base through RSS… and it’s much cheaper and much more effective than email.

  • Security. Networks such as Linkshare and Digital River’s oneNetworkDirect have begun to move beyond the cookie, but how will Vista’s new security features impact programs and networks (the vast majority) which still rely on cookies for tracking and stats.
  • Search Box. Vista has integrated a search box into IE7, similar to Firefox. Will users stick with the Google option or begin to use other search engines or platforms (such as Amazon, Wikipedia) which are built into the drop down options. How will this affect organic search, AdSense, keywords and even SEO?
  • CSS, HTML and email. Vista’s new version of Office will put restrictions on the amount of code that can easily pass into a user’s Outlook inbox. While not every affiliate marketer or merchant relies on email, most of the newsletters I receive from networks, merchants and affiliate programs are loaded with html and tracking code. Impact?
  • Widgets! Vista is encouraging movement of web browsing onto the desktop in forms of widgets. Watch to see how many users adopt and start demanding these services. Wayne, Carsten and I have been debating how to implement widgets into affiliate marketing, and Vista could change the conversation completely.

What did I miss? What has been put into Vista which should be noticed by affiliate marketers for good or for bad?

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