Back in June, Microsoft started an overhaul of its MSN Mobile portal for cell phone users and today announced some new steps in that process:
Mobile display advertising is now available on MSN Mobile for the first time, Microsoft Corp. announced today. Starting today, MSN Mobile customers in the U.S. will begin to see banner and text ad placements that conform to the U.S. mobile advertising guidelines provided by the Mobile Marketing Association to deliver a more consistent and engaging experience for consumers. Paramount Pictures and Jaguar Cars North America are among the first companies to launch an MSN Mobile campaign in the U.S.
Through technology created by Microsoft’s Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group and by the acquisition of ScreenTonic SA, a leader in mobile advertising in Europe, MSN Mobile is now able to provide ad placements that optimize the customer experience and provide advertisers with a new way to reach out to the ever-growing number of mobile consumers.
What would a portal be without “reaching out” to the users with copious advertising? ScreenTonic was acquired last May.
As for the horoscopes:
On Sunday Microsoft relaunched its MSN Mobile portal with a brand new design enhanced to draw mobile phone Web surfers:
Microsoft’s new MSN Mobile portal — http://mobile.msn.com — offers news, sports information, entertainment features and access to services like e-mail, search, maps and instant messaging all on one page.
When a user accesses the portal, the MSN platform detects the handset and optimizes the site for that device, adjusting things like font sizes for different screens.
There’s lots of competition among Web portals for mobile phone users and Microsoft is trying to stay in the running and/or join up with the phone operating companies on their own portals. The full press release has more details on the features.
Some Microsoft news items from this week that did not find a post of their own:
Microsoft’s patches DRM with record speed, but FairUse4WM counters. This time the crack isn’t as extensive, but it’s enough to make record label and Microsoft execs very nervous.
In Windows Live news, Windows Live Messenger 8.1 beta is now available for invited testers, but MSN hasn’t been forgotten:
Former Microsoft security strategist Window Snyder is joining Mozilla to lead the company’s effort to protect its range of desktop applications from malicious hacker attacks. More details here.
Microsoft is planning to release a cheaper Xbox 360 in Japan in November. A November surprise to coincide with Sony’s PS3 launch is a nice idea, but it’ll take more than a cheap barebones unit to jumpstart the Xbox 360 in Japan.
Microsoft patents verb-conjugation technology. By way of LatestPatents.com, it is patent number 20060195313.
Update: Microsoft posted free add-ons for Office 2007 that allowed documents to be saved in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) and Microsoft’s XML Paper Specification (XPS) format. You may recall that the functionality was removed from Office 2007 after Adobe threatened to sue.
John Blau at InfoWorld:
Microsoft has acquired MotionBridge, which is based in Paris and provides search technology for mobile phone operators, Microsoft announced Monday at the 3GSM World Conference in Barcelona.
MotionBridge technology allows for “deep indexing and deep indexing of mobile operators’ content assets,” Pieter Knook, senior vice president of Microsoft’s mobile and embedded business and communications sector, said at a news conference.
Several mobile operators use the MotionBridge technology, which Microsoft said it was going to combine with its own mobile search. No financial terms were revealed. The MotionBridge web site has more about their products and customers.
Update: The formal press release is here.