Microsoft Boosts Plans for Display Ad Market with Software Update

Software giant Microsoft is adapting to the online ad market, and is rolling out new features to its display advertising tool this month to avoid lagging behind Facebook, Yahoo!, and Google in particular.  The company is putting an emphasis on helping customers increase targeting, which it hopes to accomplish by updating its Atlas offering, a DoubleClick competitor it acquired as a part of the $6 billion AQuantive deal.

“Microsoft plans new Atlas features for September that will ensure customers see ad copy designed for their region, and keep them from seeing the same ad too many times,” reports Bloomberg. “Those are already available in DoubleClick.”

Microsoft is pushing a bit further, too. It teamed up with AppNexus and MediaMath to offer companies sister services – a step designed to mitigate the fact it has not rolled out any major user experience improvements for Atlas in years. Advertisers working with the software now have access to better targeting and filtering, as well as the ability to display different versions of a given ad based on the user’s region and previous engagements; if they saw the first part for example. Lastly, Microsoft threw in some integration by simplifying Excel for customers using it to sort through ad campaigns,  and enabling those same users to access their Atlas data from  SharePoint.

Microsoft is making a good move shifting its focus towards display ads, considering that this $12.3 billion market is expected to grow 25 percent in the U.S this year alone.  A lot of these ads are or will be presented to mobile users, and Microsoft has a strong outlook in this regard as well. Windows Phone 7, the company’s smartphone OS, will be installed on 20 percent of all smartphones by 2015 according to Forbes.