Today, Microsoft is making up for lost time. It now has a fully staffed sales force on par with the rest of the Internet industry. It’s investing in a broad range of services for placing ads on the Web, in videogames, on mobile phones and alongside Internet search results.
Online advertising has emerged as the foundation stone of a whole host of new Web businesses. Research eMarketer forecasts that the market will balloon to $25 billion in 2010 from $15.9 billion today. As a result, Microsoft has started to learn what makes advertisers tick as a way to get deep into a business that’s as much Madison Avenue salesmanship as Silicon Valley genius.