Microsoft last week invited a few hundred advertisers to Redmond to dazzle them with the latest and greatest bits of its adCenter advertising platform and emerging projects from its adCenter Labs (adLabs) testing grounds.

A new release of adCenter is expected in the next 2 months, with many of the new features resulting from testing and customer feedback collected through adLabs. The update will contain some small usability fixes, and mark a pilot release of Microsoft Content Ads, the new contextually-targeted ad program that shows text ads on sites on Microsoft-owned sites.

While adCenter is in its early stages focusing on search and contextual text ads, future incarnations will include other kinds of advertising. Research projects in adLabs focus on seven key areas: keyword and content technologies, ad selection and relevance, audience intelligence, social networking, video, platforms, and devices. Projects are at various stages of development, with some nearly ready to be integrated with adCenter, and others existing as barely formed concepts.

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