Microsoft targets online ads with new group

14 Aug 2007

Microsoft has created the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions (APS) Group to help build the software giant’s monetisation engine to capitalise on online advertising and publishing.

The APS Group will be responsible for building and marketing all ad platforms, including Atlas, DRIVEpm, MSNDR and Microsoft AdCenter, along with emerging media types such as in-game and mobile ads.

Microsoft has also completed its acquisition of aQuantive Inc, which it said would pave the way for it to deliver on its goal to provide the advertising industry with an enhanced advertising platform across devices and media.

“We are taking a significant step forward in our ability to capture share of the US$40bn online ad opportunity and the larger US$600bn ad market, which is rapidly shifting to the world of online and IP-served platforms, including TV and gaming,” said Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft’s Platforms & Services Division. “The addition of aQuantive’s technologies and people to the Microsoft portfolio is a core, strategic investment and step forward in our plans to become one of the top two online advertising platforms in the industry.”

The APS group will be run by Brian McAndrews, CEO of aQuantive, who will report directly to Johnson.

Microsoft have made other recent advertising-related acquisitions, including Massive Inc and ScreenTonic.

The aQuantive acquisition, excluding transaction costs, is not expected to have a significant impact on previously issued fiscal 2008 guidance for operating income and earnings per share.

By Niall Byrne