Microsoft launches unified advertising platform

Microsoft is planning to offer its vast Internet user base to advertisers through the new Digital Advertising Solutions programme. The system is designed to allow advertisers to hit their target audiences across devices ranging from PCs, to Xbox consoles, Web-enabled mobile phones and PDAs – anywhere in fact where there are users of Microsoft software.

‘As today’s consumers spend more and more time online across various digital devices like mobile phones and video games, advertisers are finding they can no longer reach their entire target audience by advertising on a single medium,’ said Joanne Bradford, corporate VP of global sales and marketing. ‘Microsoft is uniquely positioned because of our extensive global audience, high level of consumer engagement, and engaging ad opportunities across Microsoft’s platform to connect advertisers with a million different audiences of one.’

Although slow to react to the changing online landscape, Microsoft is rapidly re-tooling its online properties so that software and services can be given away cheaply or for free supported by advertising. This is the model that has been developed by Yahoo! and Google over many years now and Microsoft is a long way behind. However, few doubt that Redmond has both the cash and the determination to match its online rivals in the long run.

Microsoft promises advertisers that they can reach more than 465 million customers in 42 markets and 21 languages each month across the MSN network and millions more through Windows Live, Xbox Live and Office Online.

Microsoft’s advertising portfolio extends its reach across some of the company’s latest releases such as Live Search and Live Local Search, through relationships such as those with Facebook, and the acquisition of in-game advertising pioneer Massive Inc.

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