Microsoft has unveiled a reconstructed MSN portal – which will be the center for the best news and lifestyle content on the web aggregating content from leading media partners in the venture; the Guardian, CNN and the Wall Street Journal.
It has also encapsulated the bing series of apps – news, sport, finance, entertainment, health, fitness, food and drink and weather under the new MSN banner, which is currently available in beta.
The new portal hallmarks a ‘Me Stripe’ at the top of the page. The ‘Me Stripe’ gives quick access to services such as Outlook.com, OneNote, OneDrive, Maps, Facebook, Twitter, Xbox Music and Skype.
It also blend content from prominent sources like The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent and Sky News in the UK, The New York Times in the US, and Le Figaro and Le Monde in France.
Steve Lynas, MSN’s regional director, says: “MSN has used joint-ventures in the past but never on this scale and across so many markets. It’s a new business model that helps us court media companies by giving them SEO as well as direct links back to their sites and new revenue streams.
“The MSN brand remains strong. More than 40% of UK internet audiences engage with MSN at least one a month, while 425m people worldwide use the site each month.”
The company clearly rolled out the crisper MSN in view of prioritizing mobile phones and internet-based services as its traditional businesses.
Bing consumer apps on Windows 8 and Windows Phone will be made available as MSN apps on the iOS and Android devices.
The preview of revamped version of MSN.com home page will be launched by Microsoft on September 8 which will be available to users in 55 markets, starting today, at preview.msn.com.
“Information and personalized settings are roamed through the cloud to keep users in the know wherever they are,” said Brian MacDonald, whose new title is Corporate Vice President of Information And Content Services, in a blog post outlining the MSN news.
“You only need to set your favorites once, and your preferences will be connected across MSN, Cortana, Bing and other Microsoft experiences,” MacDonald added. (Though Microsoft officials have said they’ll consider when and if the company will make Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assitant technology, available on iOS and Android, “there are no plan to bring Cortana to iOS or Android at this time,” said a spokesperson.
“This is the biggest reinvention of MSN ever,” said Mr. MacDonald. “Literally every line of code has been changed.”
One major amendment the company aims is to enhance the ability to sync across all devices. So if you are logged in and framed any list on your desktop, it will automatically appear on the MSN app on your phone.
CEO Satya Nadella has acknowledged the torture software developers faced due to the multiple versions of Windows that work differently on phones, PCs and tablets, Xbox and other devices.
Rumors were brewing regarding Microsoft selling, merging or shutting down the portal after traffic to the MSN portal was witnessed to be stagnate for the past 12 months with its global ranking – a measure of the average daily visitor and page views over the past three months – dropping from 31 to 34, according to web measurement tool Alexa.
“Boasting an audience of more than 425 million people across 50 countries, MSN has long been an essential part of peoples’ online lives,” said Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Advertising and Online business at Microsoft .
“Reimagined for a mobile world, the new MSN will help people around the world to connect with the content that most interests them while at the same help them make the most of every minute.”