Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be announcing the official U.S. launch of adCenter today as the MSN Strategic Account Summit concludes, writes Jennifer Slegg in the Search Engine Watch blog, adding that the much-touted platform, in pilot mode since mid-October, will be renamed from MSN adCenter to Microsoft adCenter. Advertisers no longer need an invitation to begin using Microsoft's ad platform.
A limited U.K. launch is slated for June. And by summer Microsoft will launch a contextual advertising product that competes with Google AdSense and Yahoo Publisher Network, according to the post.
"Further growth of AdCenter is key" to taking on Google, Ballmer wrote last week in a memo that was leaked, writes CNET, adding that Microsoft is aiming to create a one-stop shop for contextual, search and display advertising.
Microsoft will also announce the acquisition of privately held web analytics company DeepMetrix and plans to build new analytics capabilities into adCenter by expanding DeepMetrix's technology.