In a move aimed at making it easier for customers to purchase advertising from Microsoft, the company yesterday unveiled an organisation that aligns all of its advertising sales, research and planning efforts.

The Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions team – which falls under the platforms and services division overseen by Kevin Johnson – gives customers one group within the company for all of their advertising needs, said Eric Hadley, general manager of global marketing at Microsoft.

The organisation comprises former MSN advertising sales employees as well as others involved in advertising at Microsoft across other divisions. The company has also been hiring employees to fuel its advertising efforts, and they will join the new division, Hadley said.

Until recently, Microsoft's MSN site was the only place where the company offered advertising, Hadley said. But in the past 18 months, it has built up a portfolio of products that offer a range of advertising options, such as Xbox Live as well as its Windows Live and Office Live web-based services.

"Advertising is now a core asset across all aspects of the company," Hadley said. Microsoft realised it needed to unify how customers could purchase advertising across all of these properties for a comprehensive advertising plan, he said.