After tons of speculation, Microsoft has finally come out to say that Microsoft adCenter Content Ads program is expected to be launched early Fall. As an FYI - I have asked to beta test it, so I hope to hear back soon on that and share the ads with you, like I have done with AdSense and YPN. Here is the official email sent out to the press and bloggers;
On behalf of everyone on the Microsoft adCenter team, I’m excited to announce that we will be starting our pilot of Microsoft adCenter Content Ads early this fall. Content Ads is Microsoft’s next product that allows advertisers to place content-targeted, text-based advertisements primarily on Microsoft-owned properties including MSN Money, Real Estate, and many others within the www.msn.com portal. Like our search advertising product, it will also utilize our demographic targeting, geo-targeting and incremental bidding tools to help our advertisers reach the audience they want. Our Content Ads pilot will start as an invitation-only pilot, limited to selected current adCenter advertisers.
If you are interested in participating, please reply back and I will send you additional information. This is your opportunity to drive change and improvement in our Content Ads product, and we hope you’re as excited about it as we are.
Also, adCenter411, the Ad Center rep, posted in WebmasterWorld thread saying, "I can't comment a lot about this, except to say later this fall, adCenter will be running a pilot for our contextual-based advertising option. Stay tuned. :)" Also, JenSense has some more insight into this announcement.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.