I’ve been looking into how adwords advertising systems work. More along the lines of how adwords (generically speaking – not just in the google sense) are given prices, how these are determined, payback on them, click through rates etc. It’s a bit of voodoo that I’m still figuring out. Along this journey I bumped into Microsofts adCenter Labs. Where I discovered that Microsoft has started their a new Adwords competitor – named adCentre. Just as an aside from that – why the heck has everyone got labs now?! Like Google Labs, Digg Labs etc. But beyond this nitpicking all this interesting (pre-release, not necessarily useful) stuff at the ‘labs’ websites can be fun to play with. Before I get started lets have a brief history of advertising for Microsoft. Well it never really existed – until earlier this year Microsoft was actually using a competitors Adwords like-system (formerly Overture) Yahoo! So Microsofts search engine was making money for Yahoo! (doesn’t make much sense does it.) Thus Microsoft is moving towards building their own system… why? probably to have something prepared for when the major ramp-up of ‘Live services’ pop up after the Vista launch… this will replace all the MSN apps out there.The AdCenter Labs have some fun tools that can be a great time waster. Such as “Behavioral Targeting” I love this… type in a couple of words such as: Blink 182 and Microsoft will figure out the most likely demographic the user typing them would be. Like Male 18-36They have some “Commercial Intentions” for keywords (sorry adwords), like the likelihood the person searching for these words is interested in buying something. Concert Listings, not so hot. Concert Tickets – much better.There are other things that are coming soon that I’m looking forward to such as “Ad Delivery for Social Networks” among others. This is one site I’ll probably keep a close eye on as the system goes toward launch at years end.