A reliable internal source at Microsoft adCenter has revealed that they are currently working hard with the ScreenTonic group to roll out a mobile advertising offering in the near future. It will not, however, be anytime within the quarter.
Microsoft acquired mobile advertising firm ScreenTonic in May 2007. The motivations behind the move were obvious – Microsoft intends to be fully armed for the next battle for dominance against Google – on the mobile space. However, the lack of any visible offering for such a long period of time has been disappointing to say the least.
This latest bit of information is a sign that they at least intend to fight the fight and not just give up and walk away from the mobile search advertising market. Delays in entering the space and making quick decisive moves will hurt them though.
Now would be the right time for Microsoft to capitalise on the souring relations between Google and the operators and form partnerships with the operators, allowing them to provide a superior advertiser experience compared to the Google AdWords system, which has recently been found to lack some fundamental tracking features on mobile.
Thank you to prdo for pointing out (indirectly) that the title of this post is slightly misleading. We’ve modified it to clarify that the PPC ads are not available on MSN Mobile, though display advertising is.