Thursday, May 4, 2006

The MSN Adventure Begins

This was the press release from Seattle today at the Strategic Account Summit:

Today at the seventh annual MSN Strategic Account Summit, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the launch of Microsoft adCenter, the company’s online advertising platform, now serving 100 percent of paid search traffic on Microsoft online properties in the U.S. market. The launch of adCenter marks the next step in Microsoft’s commitment to online advertising. Microsoft adCenter is now live in three markets: the U.S., France, and Singapore.

“Ad-supported software services are an integral part of Microsoft’s plans to give consumers access to a broader variety of digital media, whenever they want and on whatever device they prefer,” Ballmer told the audience of more than 700 leading innovators in the advertising, marketing and media industries. “Our close partnership with the ad community is extremely important to us as we evolve into the world’s largest, most attractive provider of online media through MSN, Windows Live and adCenter.”

I am very excited about adCenter’s ability to provide advertisers like you with tremendous business value. Please take a look on for a video clip of the announcement.

So what does "launch" mean? As of May 4, 10 A.M. Pacific Time, traffic is at 100% and anyone can sign up for an adCenter account. Existing customers will have no impact on their account. However, you should now adjust your budgets to accommodate 100% traffic from adCenter.

In addition, adCenter has been rebranded to “Microsoft adCenter,” signifying that advertising is more than a function of MSN – adCenter is a significant part of Microsoft's overall strategy to build create a next-generation advertising platform and building through MSN and Windows Live services, the largest and most engaged audience on the planet.. Regardless of whether advertisements are on search, MSN properties, Windows Live, Office Live, or even Xbox, they will all be a part of the adCenter one-stop-shop experience.

I’d like to thank you for your participation in the pilot phase of adCenter. We have learned a lot since you’ve been on board, and we are committed to serving your Search advertising needs going forward.

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