Yahoo!, Microsoft Search Alliance Complete in UK, France, Begins in New European Markets; Windows Azure Marketplace Now Offers Promotion codes, Data Cleansing APIs, Dutch Support; Microsoft Patent Kinect Tech to Track Facial Expressions, Generate "Targeted Ads"

Yahoo! and Microsoft announced today that they have completed an important milestone for their Search Alliance agreement: all digital advertisers and publishers in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France have been transitioned to Microsoft adCenter. Yahoo! and Microsoft are now ready to start combining their search market places in three new European markets --Germany, Austria […]

Yahoo!, Microsoft Search Alliance Complete in UK, France, Ireland, Begins in New European Market Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Yahoo! and Microsoft announced today that they have completed an important milestone for their Search Alliance agreement: all digital advertisers and publishers in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France have been transitioned to Microsoft adCenter.

Yahoo! and Microsoft are now ready to start combining their search market places in three new European markets --Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Both companies will jointly begin working on to the next phase of the Search Alliance with partners in early May 2012, in advance of their planned transition to the Microsoft platform.

In other Microsoft news,

Windows Azure Marketplace Now Offers Promotion codes, Data Cleansing APIs, Dutch Support

Recent updates to the Windows Azure Marketplace offer more flexibility and opportunity for publishers, developers and their customers.

First, Microsoft introduced "promotion codes," that let publishers create special discounted offers for their customers. "These custom promotion codes can be included in targeted campaigns or on flyers or giveaways for special events. Customers simply type the code into the publisher portal to take advantage of their special offers," explains Azure team.

Next, Windows Azure Marketplace now offers Data Cleansing APIs for developers: 12 offers from 6 providers.

Finally, the Marketplace now also supports the Dutch language.

Publishers should contact Microsoft at datamarketbd@microsft.com to set up promotion code self-service on their offers.

For more details on Data Quality Services category, visit here, or visit the Windows Azure Marketplace today.

Kinect to track facial expression, generate targeted advertisements

Kinect controller in future may be doing more than allowing you to play games -- it may track your emotions. The U.S. Patent Office on March 22, approved a Microsoft patent application filed in September 2010, for technology that would identify "each person in front of the camera with face-recognition software and track that person's emotional response to media, such as games and videos, in order to better target advertising to whomever is watching."

The technology would use the camera to detect "the users' facial expressions, sounds, gestures and movements while viewing multimedia content." It would then generate a "targeted advertisement" that would be displayed on the screen.

In addition to using the Kinect to track a person's emotions, the patent also outlines how the company could use a "social network" to better target ads. "A targeted advertisement is provided to a user based on the multimedia content viewed by the user, the user's identification information and the user's emotional response," a patent abstract reads.

In the patent description, Microsoft describes the frustration of modern advertising:

"The goal of advertisers is to keep a viewer's attention focused on a commercial or advertisement, but often the viewer is engaged in other activities during the commercial to avoid watching the commercial. Viewers often do not pay attention to advertisements because the ads are not personal, relevant or even relatable to the viewers."