March 15, 2006 7:49 AM PST

Microsoft tests Live ads

Microsoft has begun testing display ads across Windows Live Mail, Office Live and MSN Spaces.

The company said on Wednesday that is conducting tests under multiple ad formats as part of its strategy announced in November to offer Internet-based services supported by ads and subscriptions. The online versions of its software and services target small businesses and consumers.

Testing of the display ads for MSN Spaces is under way in Australia and Italy. Windows Live Mail display ads are being tested in such markets as Brazil, China, the United Kingdom and the United States. Office Live display ads, meanwhile, are being tested in the U.S. only, and the available beta slots have been filled.

Microsoft plans to continue the testing throughout the year, with plans to offer free, ad-supported Windows Live services and more comprehensive services under a subscription basis.

Office Live includes a free domain name, a Web site and company e-mail. Windows Live, meanwhile, is designed to offer a centralized personal service for e-mail, blogging, instant messaging, search and security.

See more CNET content tagged:
MSN Spaces, Microsoft Office Live, Microsoft Windows Live, Microsoft Windows Live Mail, MSN


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The end of high times for google?
Google hasnt had to compete in this arena yet in any meaningful manner. Overture/yahoo just didnt cut it. But it looks like MS is going right after Google for some of this juicy ad revenue. It'll be interesting to see if google collapses in on intself or can hold its own.
Posted by (402 comments )
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Google will hold itself.
Google will hold itself. Google as a brand name for ads has more value that Microsoft. Microsoft's image is down for lots of reasons.

Microsoft has to convince people to come on to their sites to generate the traffic to their AdCenter. I hope microsoft search engine provides relavant results.

But competition is good. I am sure Google and Microsoft will innovate to compete. Ultimately, its good for customers.
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
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Ads shouldn't hamper functionality
You would think Microsoft would have learnt this by now. The only thing that makes this Live site useful is using Adblocker + Firefox.

This is probably not what Microsoft has intended. The ads take up around 50% of the real estate on the screen.

Come on..
Posted by ShaunEM (1 comment )
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Greek Language should include more handheld computer links
for example <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by John_Jackson (3 comments )
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