Microsoft to unveil its system for Web ads

Nation

September 26, 2005|By New York Times News Service

The Microsoft Corp. will unveil today its system for selling Web advertising as it struggles to compete with Google and Yahoo in the Internet search business.

The system, to be used by MSN, is meant to improve on those of Microsoft's rivals by enabling marketers to aim ads on Web search pages to users based on their sex, age or location.

The move is part of Microsoft's broad response to the threat from Google, which is using its powerful advertising sales network to support an expanding range of free software products and Internet services. Last week, Microsoft announced a broad reorganization that placed MSN in the same group as its Windows operating system, indicating that it saw software delivered over the Internet -- and possibly paid for through advertising -- as central to its future.

Microsoft hopes its new advertising system will match many of the features of Google's system, which is generally seen as more advanced than Yahoo's, and add a few innovations. The most significant advancement in the MSN technology is its ability to direct ads to viewers according to demographic characteristics, as well as by the day and time the ad is shown.

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