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Tech Roundup: FB Messenger Ads, MSFT Broadband, HPQ PC Lead, Net Neutrality

The top news stories from last week are Facebook Inc's (NASDAQ: FB ) Messenger Ads entering beta, Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ: MSFT ) offering broadband in rural America, HP Inc (NYSE: HPQ ) regaining the top spot in PCs and tech companies getting together on net neutrality.

Facebook Messenger Ads Beta

After testing Messenger ads in Thailand and Australia, Facebook is now taking the experience to a broader audience and a larger number of advertisers. So more users are beginning to see ads on the Messenger Home Tab.

Clicking on them takes the user either to a Messenger conversation or a web page, whatever the advertiser chooses. Facebook won't be snooping on conversations to help it target ads, which is good in terms of privacy but may not be as contextually relevant for users as they open the app purposefully, either to send or receive messages.

Facebook has said that it now has 1.2 billion users on Messenger, so it makes sense to hunt up ways to monetize the user base. The initial idea of getting businesses and other organizations to create bots to converse with users resulted in the creation of 100,000 bots that take care of day to day concerns.

With the ads also giving advertisers the option of pulling users to these bots or otherwise educating customers, Facebook is well on its way to building a communications platform for one-on-one interactions between businesses and users.

Microsoft to Offer Rural Broadband

Microsoft is looking to advance rural connectivity in the U.S. by using TV white spaces, or the unlicensed buffer channels that broadcasters avoid so signals from different channels don't interrupt each other. Since Microsoft is planning on acquiring the spectrum for free, broadcasters aren't too thrilled about the idea.

Microsoft is banking on regulatory support to free up at least three channels nationwide without which its technology partners may not be willing to invest.

The company will initially put in $10 billion plus any profit...