Microsoft begins to support "live" sites with advertising

Microsoft aims to create "the web’s largest advertising networking" by introducing advertising into its Office Live, Windows Live and MSN online services.

The advertising campaign has soft-launched today in twelve countries with 20 companies participating in ad tests. Microsoft said that advertising will support free, mostly lower level, applications offered through its Windows Live and Office Live services ; higher-end versions of services may be offered for a monthly fee and free of ad banners.

The company offers free services such as a domain name, email accounts and web traffic reports through its Office Live program, while collaboration and premium hosting services will cost $30 per month after the current beta period will have been concluded. The majority of Windows Live applications will be ad-supported services with OneCare Live, a security service that includes virus scanning and firewall features, being the only announced paid subscription service so far.

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