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Microsoft's Revamped MSN Preview Is Worth Checking Out

Back in the 1990s when America Online ruled the day, Microsoft's entry with MSN followed in AOL's footsteps. Microsoft is hoping its latest MSN refresh tailored for the mobile and cloud era will take hold and its new interface is quite compelling.

Launched as a public preview today, the new MSN portal is a gateway to popular apps such as Office 365, Outlook.com, Skype, OneDrive, Xbox Music as well as some outside services, notably Facebook and Twitter. The interface to those services is the Service Stripe. After just spending a short amount of time with it, I'm already considering replacing My Yahoo as my longtime default browser portal home page.

"We have rebuilt MSN from the ground up for a mobile-first, cloud-first world," wrote Brian MacDonald, Microsoft's corporate VP for information and content experiences, in a blog post. "The new MSN brings together the world's best media sources along with data and services to enable users to do more in News, Sports, Money, Travel, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, and more. It focuses on the primary digital daily habits in people's lives and helps them complete tasks across all of their devices. Information and personalized settings are roamed through the cloud to keep users in the know wherever they are."

If anything, MacDonald downplayed its ability to act as an interface to some of the most widely used services, while providing a rich offering of its own information and access to services utilized for personal use. The preview is available now for Windows and will be coming shortly to iOS and Android. Could the new MSN be the portal that gives Microsoft's Bing search engine the boost it needs and brings more users someday to Cortana?

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 09/08/2014 at 2:22 PM


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