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Microsoft Creates New Ad And Search Research Group

Microsoft's been criticized repeatedly for arriving late to the game in some technologies, and the Web is no exception. Today, company chairman Bill Gates announced a new group called the Internet Services Research Center to help close the gap between research and productization for services Microsoft is investing in, especially advertising and search.
Microsoft's been criticized repeatedly for arriving late to the game in some technologies, and the Web is no exception. Today, company chairman Bill Gates announced a new group called the Internet Services Research Center to help close the gap between research and productization for services Microsoft is investing in, especially advertising and search.Heading up the research center will be Harry Shum, a newly promoted vice president who also runs Microsoft's Beijing research lab. According to both Gates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Shum's group will focus heavily on advertising technologies, which both executives said would be critical for the company going forward, and search.

"The online advertising piece is a small piece of the overall advertising pie, but as TV viewing moves to the online space, the idea of targeting ads becomes completely a mainstream thing," Gates said. "That's why you're seeing us make investments in that area."

Ballmer went even further, saying that it is "essential" for Microsoft to become an "advertising powerhouse" going forward if it is to succeed in the services world.

Though Microsoft is still third in the online advertising race, it has signed deals with Facebook and Digg, just yesterday with the latter, and has invested heavily, as Gates said, in IPTV technologies. It also recently applied for a patent for an advertising platform that would use information found on a computer, rather than just the Web, to determine context and deliver ads.