Mark it down March 16th - appropos as Yahoo will soon be reeling like Julius Caeser crying "Et Tu Bill".
MSN announced its plans to start a bidded PPC program similiar to Yahoo and Google's search ad programs. It will include a self-serve component so smaller advertisers can start bidding and widen the scope of the existing MSN PPC offering.
Currently, companies willing to pay $75,000 or more a year can offer MSN a set of terms and then the company counters with a set price for all clicks gained for those terms.
I use this system and it took a few rounds of dropping terms both high and low (as measured by the bidded prices of Overture and Google) to get a set that was worth locking in at a set cost per click.
So now they are beta testing the system in France and Singapore (a foreign language site and an English site that is wholy owned by MSN).
I will be signing up for it next week and will let people know how it all looks.