At the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to open a Search Technology Center (STC) in Europe in its fiscal year 2009. The new center will be designed to help accelerate Microsoft’s investments in Live Search and disrupt the search and advertising marketplace to the benefit of both the consumer and the advertiser, in line with Microsoft’s recent announcement in the U.S. of Live Search cashback.
“As I stated in my May 18 memo about our Online Services strategy, today Microsoft has 68 percent reach to Internet users throughout Europe through our online assets and strengths in display advertising; however, we’re not yet where we’d like to be in search in this critical geography,” said Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms and Services Division at Microsoft. “Success in search in Europe is paramount, and we see the investment in this new Search Technology Center as an important step in doubling down on our long-term investments.”
This has nothing to do with the cash back program [webmasterworld.com]. MS is opening a physical facility that employs local professionals. Regardless of what you think of the Live search offering, this is a direct investment in the local economy and should signify more of a focus on the EU market by MS...despite the less than cordial welcome the European Commission has given the company with it's constant investigations...some of which seem a bit biased.