updated 09:10 pm EDT, Wed June 20, 2012
Microsoft focuses on smooth app-add integration
In between breaking the news of its new Surface tablets and showing off the features for its mobile operating system, Microsoft began previewing the rich ad platform that will accompany Windows 8 apps. In a post on the Microsoft Advertising blog, the company gave a peek at what ads will look like in Windows 8 apps, and what kind of content advertisers can expect to be able to push.
The example ad Microsoft shows off is one developed for Adidas and integrated into the Seattle Sounders FC app. The add shows up at the right "end" of the app, after the user has swiped through the app's content, though Microsoft notes that advertisers may have the option of integrating ad content into an app's background.
Tapping or clicking on an ad will take a user to the ad's "brand landing experience," where the advertiser is more free to serve rich and interactive content. Users can navigate back to the app in use with a click on the back arrow located in the top left-hand corner. The experience is very similar to Apple's "iAd" service.
Microsoft has partnered with creative agencies including AKQA, Big Spaceship, Razorfish, Team Detroit, UM, and Y&R to co-develop early advertising concepts. Those partners will also have a say in the development of standards for Windows 8 in-app ads.
Advertising income represents but a fraction of Microsoft's overall revenues, yet the company remains focused on ads as a means of monetizing various of its products. Recently, Microsoft began showing off NUads, which will allow for interactive ads delivered through the company's Xbox 360 video game console. The interactivity of those ads -- and perhaps ads delivered through Windows 8 devices -- could be expanded upon, should the company see fit to roll out the mood-based advertising technologies it recently patented using its Kinect peripheral.
The Windows 8 ad platform will debut to a crowded field. Apple and Google already dominate the mobile app ad space with their respective iAd and AdMob platforms, and even Samsung is planning to make its own entry into the sector.