Microsoft’s New adCenter Features: Shoring Up Third Place

Microsoft released a nice number of new adCenter features today – see the summary in this PDF document.

The good news: the features represent some much-needed improvements, especially in reporting capabilities. But they really just bring overall functionality closer to the 2006 version of Google AdWords – and still a distant third behind Google and Yahoo, not just in traffic but in user interface.

It’s sort of surprising that software giant Microsoft still hasn’t released a competitive ad platform, having started development in 2005. Yahoo’s been adding spiffy features at a faster pace – check out their campaign optimization and ad generator tools, for example.

But as I’ve said before: never underestimate Microsoft. Version 3.x is usually the killer app.