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January 15, 2006

Microsoft opens ad lab

Microsoft Corp on Friday officially launched its adCenter Incubation Lab in Beijing, which it hopes will spawn new ways for it to sell advertising based on users' MSN searches.

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft said the goal was to boost advertisers’ return on investment by providing more audience information.

The company seems to be playing catch-up with rivals Google Inc and Yahoo Inc, which garner significant revenues for targeted ads based on various user statistics.

Microsoft on Friday showed 15 of 40 prototypes of its ad technologies during an event at its Redmond, Washington headquarters, including video, TV, mobile and online products.

Video hyperlink ads, for example, can detect a type of product shown on a TV show or commercial. Consumers can then zoom into the product on screen and click through product description and information on where to buy it.

Microsoft also demonstrated earlier-stage projects, such as ad bar-code readers, social network mining, and video and large-display ads.

More than 50 researchers are working on the new ad technologies, Microsoft said.

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