Microsoft, on Wednesday, announced that it had started testing ads across its Windows Live Mail, Microsoft Office Live and MSN Spaces services under the assistance of 20 global marketers. The software giant said that the endeavor is an expansion of an approach first revealed in November 2005.
When the company had first revealed its extension plans, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates had said that the company was moving into a period where advertising and subscriptions would be supporting the services. On Wednesday, Microsoft said that the revenues produced through this new advertising program would follow that promise.
A number of various ad formats will be tested in order to determine which ad format offers the best return on investment for advertisers, and provides the best value to the consumer experience. Among the companies participating are Coca-Cola Brazil, JCPenney and Monster Worldwide.
Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president for Global Sales and Marketing at Microsoft said, “With ad-supported software opportunities, we’re able to offer great services at low or no cost for our consumers and a vast ecosystem for advertisers.”
Testing of the MSN ads would begin on MSN Spaces in Australia and Italy, the company said. In Windows Live Mail, several markets would participate in the tests including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Microsoft said tests of the ads on Office Live in the United States have immediately sold out of available account. The company plans to in due course spread the test to other Microsoft sites, and is working with advertisers to provide their needs and look for the best advertising practices for Windows Live.
Testing is expected to continue throughout the year.