Following several days of media hype predicting MSN's imminent launch its own pay-per-click ad network, Microsoft today will reveal more modest plans. The company will demonstrate a prototype of a new paid search advertising platform at an event for ad clients in Redmond.

At the sixth annual MSN Strategic Account Summit, Microsoft plans to show off to 500 of its top customers the new MSN adCenter, a platform that will eventually be used for ads throughout its network. The first component of adCenter is the paid search piece, which will be piloted within the next six months in Singapore and France to gather customer feedback. Eventually it will be launched worldwide.

"We're rolling out the pilots to demonstrate and learn what value software can add to the search platform," said Eric Hadley, senior director of advertising and marketing for MSN. "Right now, everybody thinks search is just about clicks, but it's about more than that. It's about connection with the customer."

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