Windows Live Mail Gets Active Search
In conjunction with Microsoft’s recently launched MSN adCenter, the company unveiled a new feature for the Beta version of Windows Live Mail Desktop called “Active Search” that conducts automatic searches related to email content while serving up targeted contextual sponsored links.
Microsoft has extended a contextual ad model similar to Google’s Gmail, which also serves up contextual ads, through the Active Search feature, still being tested with a small group of beta participants.
Live Mail Desktop program manager Oji Udezue explains that Active Search acts as a short cut for looking up terms or topics presented via email.
The technology scans the content, conducts searches and displays a few related results.
Users can click on a button that takes them to a full results page for the term. They also have the power to turn off the function.
“We’ve designed Active Search to make it easier for you to act on anything that piques your interest while reading your email,” writes Udezue. “That’s why we show you key search terms we find in a message and provide a search box right underneath, so you can quickly search for terms of your own.”
If Active Search is unable to find relevant results for keywords in email messages are RSS articles in the inbox, then an empty search box will appear while reading instead.
Udezue claims that the Active Search feature is “better than a Superbowl ad” for advertisers.
“Active Search provides advertisers with a powerful way to reach consumers with text advertising that is very relevant to their daily lives,” Udezue writes.
The contextually targeted sponsored links appearing as users read will be provided by Kanoodle during the beta testing.
Microsoft adCenter will serve up sponsored links when users select alternative keywords or enter the terms themselves.