Google News has an archive feature and a regular news search today for "online travel" retrieved a story headlined, "Microsoft to sell shares of online travel service."
The July 16, 2001, Seattle Post-Intelligencer story noted that Microsoft planned to sell its controlling $1.83 billion stake in Expedia to Barry Diller's USA Networks.
That was great news for Erik Blachford, then Expedia vice president of marketing, who went on the become Expedia CEO.
"My struggles over the years have been about getting more money from Microsoft," the 2001 story quoted Blachford as saying. "This adds the money and exposure we need to turbocharge our brand."
Well, the Expedia brand certainly got turbocharged into one of the largest travel brands in the world.
USA Networks, which became IAC, did the Expedia deal with Microsoft in 2001, and four years later IAC turned around and spun off Expedia into a public company. Microsoft had created Expedia as a division in 1996.
It is interesting to see how corporate strategy gets turned on its head as time goes by and events intervene.
At the time of Microsoft's sale of Expedia to USA Networks, Microsoft was saying that it wanted to get out of the business of creating content because it didn't want to compete with partners in various verticals.
And, in 2008, seven years after Microsoft sold Expedia to get out of content creation and the travel vertical, Microsoft acquired Farecast to get back into content creation and the travel vertical.
Microsoft eventually turned Farecast into Bing Travel, a brand which some would argue could use some turbocharging.
But, turbocharging the Bing Travel brand is not part of Microsoft's strategy as it promotes Bing as an all-encompassing search brand and has bigger fish to fry.
That is, of course, until today's corporate strategy gets turned on its head again.