In 2006, more than $15 billion is expected to be spent on online advertising, according to research firm eMarketer, with Google and Yahoo cashing in on up to 45 percent of the profits. Microsoft wants in, too, which is why it recently released MSN AdCenter online ad placement and ad campaign tracking software. Microsoft is placing big bets on MSN search, and with AdCenter can now compete with Google for context-based ads and the ad tracking software that goes with it. And MSN has a secret weapon -- user data from Passport and other MSN products that can be used to allow buyers to segment ads by demographic. Who will win? Stay tuned for what's likely to be an epic battle.
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