Microsoft has big plans for its upcoming Windows Phone 7, and it’s focusing much of that effort on mobile advertising.
The company has been putting key executives and mobile-ad sales teams in place to position themselves to best capitalize on a segment the company has lost years of progress to Apple and Google on. Microsoft announced it will move Paul Lyonette, head of emerging platforms at Microsoft Advertising, to oversee the expansion of its mobile sales division and boost the headcount of its European mobile ad sales team.
More importantly, the company has put heavy emphasis on improving the quality of its mobile-ad display technology and platforms, including heavy emphasis on advanced geo-targeting. It’s no secret that Microsoft has lost out big on both the Online and mobile advertising growth we’ve seen in the past several years, and this could be a last chance effort before they completely loose relevance in the market.
In another interesting move, it recently emerged that Microsoft is offering financial incentives to mobile developers to produce apps for its Windows Marketplace app store in a bid to close the gap on market leaders Apple and Google. Tom Brix, a senior director at Microsoft, confirmed the company would compensate developers if the apps don’t sell as much as initially expected. This could help in the beginning, but swaying developer interest away from Apple and Google will be a tough fight to win.