Microsoft Is Expanding its Advertising Ambitions with a Re-branding and AI

Posted on April 29, 2019 by Brad Sams in Bing + MSN with 14 Comments

This morning, Microsoft announced that they are re-branding their advertising channel from Bing Ads to Microsoft Advertising. With this announcement, the company is also signaling that it is going to move more aggressively into this space and expand its portfolio of services.

The company has, for years, offered a wide variety of advertising products across many different mediums including Bing, Windows, LinkedIn, and many other places. The re-branding makes sense and the company says that this is more than a skin-deep refresh.

Rik van der Kooi says in a blog post that “In the next year, we’re introducing more advertising products with built-in AI, more connected to your data and your business.” For Microsoft’s bottom line, this will be a good thing, but for those who were hoping the company would make a privacy pivot, it looks like that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

It’s hard to fault Microsoft either, Google has proven that you can build a massive empire on the back of advertising data and that it also provides a steady stream of cash as well. And considering that Microsoft likes to tout its data and analytical chops, targeted advertising falls right into its lap as a perfect opportunity.

While Microsoft will continue to push down the advertising path, part of me would prefer to see the company solely focus on user privacy and move away from invasive advertising practices. But as long as Microsoft keeps Bing around (LinkedIn too), this dream will likely never materialize.

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Microsoft Is Expanding its Advertising Ambitions with a Re-branding and AI”

  1. proesterchen

    What are the odds their "AI" advertising will still funnel significant advertiser spending towards advertising products to people they have already purchased?

    I shudder to think that apparently to this day, having just bought a TV, a couch, or car is the strongest signal these companies have found that one might be interested in more TVs, couches, or cars.

  2. Tony Barrett

    Well, this is certainly one of the reasons MS collect so much telemetry from Win10 - to feed their AI and subsequently ad backend. You'll see ads more deeply embedded in many MS applications, and it will likely become a core component of Win10 going forward. We knew they'd come - MS have been drip feeding them into 10 for a while, but very soon, the floodgates will open, and those ads will be coming straight to your desktop - front and center. Oh joy!

    • Daekar

      In reply to ghostrider:

      I don't see this happening, they would face instant mutiny from pro-sumers and businesses of all stripes.

      The Win10 telemetry isn't anything that would be useful for advertising, and changing it to be so would be an absolute nightmare of regulatory landmines and lost customers.

    • rm

      In reply to ghostrider:Not buying what you are selling. Just because I use calculator or use defrag on a drive is not going to get targeted advertising. Now if you want to talk about internet searches that is a different story.

  3. dcdevito

    Ugh, sigh. If/when Windows turns into Android I guess I’ll have to switch back to a Mac, or Linux.

  4. navarac

    There was a Microsoft AI advert on TV the other day here in the UK. I'm sure that 95% of viewers would not have had a clue what it was about. It basically said Microsoft do AI. And ......? Waste of time and money. I just treat all adverts as someone trying to extract (rob) my money and ignore it.

    • RickEveleigh

      In reply to navarac:

      Yep I wondered why they are advertising AI (can you buy it? is it a product at all etc). Wonder if it's about subliminal presence -- Microsoft is about worthy uses of tech (one AI ad is about intelligently watering crops, another is about mapping historic sites) vs Apple 'ooo a phone'.

  5. PeterC

    Hmmm this would not be good..... not good at all if its just more of whats been seen to date. But......

    I certainly can see Ai driven ads for the Xbox gaming channels, especially as watching gaming streams is such a big deal these days, I can certainly see getting the gmail treatment for free consumers users, but I think theyd shoot themselves in the foot with consumer driven ads for every desktop user.

    I could see Ai driven ads for enterprise users where "skills and services" are being touted as solution providers driven from linkedin maybe.

    I could see an Ai Excel notification saying do you want help with that macro/code/issue and offer to connect me with someone to fix, creating a skills driven marketplace for buyers/sellers.

    I could also see the option to mute such "commercial notifications".....

    Maybe clippy will make a comeback.... "hey it looks like you need paid help with that"

  6. Chris Payne

    From the teaser:

    "Microsoft is rebranding Bind Ads and with the move, will also introduce new AI-based products in the near future."

    What are Bind Ads?

  7. Winner

    I'm wondering if the poster who always mentions the term "Adoogle" for Google, is going to do a similar term such as "Adsoft" for Microsoft?